Tags: Diabetes | Heart Disease | compound | beer | hops | xanthohumol | fights

Compound in Beer Fights Heart Disease, Weight Gain

Compound in Beer Fights Heart Disease, Weight Gain
(Copyright AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 April 2016 12:10 PM


A natural flavonoid found in hops can help fight heart disease and weight gain. The compound, called xanthohumol, significantly improved markers of metabolic syndrome and reduced weight gain in mice.

A combination of health problems such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and elevated glucose levels are known as metabolic syndrome, and they are linked to cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. A 2015 study published in JAMA found that almost 35 percent of all U.S. adults have metabolic syndrome, and 50 percent of those 60 years of age and older.

In the new study at Oregon State University, laboratory mice were fed a high-fat diet, and given varying levels of xanthohumol. Compared to animals given no xanthohumol, LDL or "bad" cholesterol of mice given the highest dosage of the flavanoid was cut 80 percent. Their insulin level was reduced by 42 percent; and their level of IL-6, a biomarker of inflammation, was slashed by 78 percent.

Since they were eating a rich diet, the mice that received xanthohumol gained weight, but gained 22 percent less weight than animals not eating the compound. Xanthohumol also appeared to increase their oxygen consumption and metabolic rate.

"This is the first time we've seen one compound with the potential to address so many health problems," said Cristobal Miranda, a research assistant professor with OSU's Linus Pauling Institute and lead author on this study. "These were very dramatic improvements."

Researchers said that more study will be required to show safety and efficacy in humans.
"Work is still needed to further demonstrate the safety of high doses of xanthohumol, but dosages 15-30 times higher than we used have already been given to animals with no apparent problems," said principal investigator Fred Stevens.

"After further study, this might provide an effective treatment for metabolic syndrome at a very low cost."

Xanthohumol is found naturally in hops and beer, but the levels used in the study were far above amounts that could be obtained in an ordinary diet. However, that amount of xanthohumol could easily be made available in a daily dietary supplement.

A 2014 study at Oregon State University found that xanthohumol improved cognitive function in young mice, and an earlier study published in Molecular Cancer Therapy found that xanthohumol possesses anticarcinogenic properties.

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A natural flavonoid found in hops can help fight heart disease and weight gain. The compound, called xanthohumol, significantly improved markers of metabolic syndrome and reduced weight gain in mice. A combination of health problems such as obesity, high cholesterol, high...
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2016-10-27
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 12:10 PM
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