Tags: Diabetes | Heart Disease | hops | beer | metabolic syndrome | estrogen | xanthohumol

Compounds From Hops Improve Metabolic Syndrome

Compounds From Hops Improve Metabolic Syndrome
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By    |   Monday, 05 February 2018 11:35 AM

Compounds derived from hops — the flowers that give beer a bitter flavor — can likely improve cognitive and other functions in people with metabolic syndrome, according to new research at Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Science University.

The research is good news for the millions of Americans diagnosed with the syndrome, which is a combination of health problems such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and elevated glucose levels. 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.

The research, led by Fred Stevens and Jacob Raber, focused on xanthohumol (XN), a prenylated flavonoid from hops, and two of its hydrogenated derivatives: DXN and TXN.

"We've studied xanthohumol for many years," said Stevens, professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the OSU College of Pharmacy and a principal investigator at Oregon State's Linus Pauling Institute. "We think what we have now is a big improvement."

Earlier studies had indicated that XN could be an effective treatment for metabolic syndrome, but it transforms into 8-prenylnaringenin, or 8-PN, an estrogenic metabolite. Estrogens are the female sex hormones.

"We were always criticized about the potential side effects because 8-PN is one of the most potent phytoestrogens known in nature, and that's not good news," he said. "If someone took XN over longer periods of time, it could lead to estrogenic side effects, potentially."

Side effects include endometriosis and breast cancer.

"A double bond in the XN molecule is responsible for that 8-PN metabolism to be possible, so I thought if I could get rid of that double bond by hydrogenating the molecule, then that metabolite cannot be formed anymore," Stevens said. "I thought maybe this is the solution to the problem."

Stevens was right. Using a mouse model, tests showed that XN and its hydrogenated derivatives, XN and TXN, improve glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, and sensitivity to leptin — a hormone that makes you feel full when you've eaten enough.

Best of all, the derivatives were even more effective than the original compound, without influencing estrogen.

"TXN is especially potent in reducing insulin resistance in mice made obese by feeding a high-fat diet," said Cristobal Miranda, an associate professor at the Linus Pauling Institute who was involved in the research.

"Our findings with rodents suggest that that it may be possible to reduce or even prevent learning and memory impairments through a derivative of the same chemical compound found in beer," said Raber.

A 2016 study, also conducted at Oregon State University, found that xanthohumol, significantly improved markers of metabolic syndrome and reduced weight gain in mice.

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.

A 2014 study at the same 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.

The new study was published in Scientific Reports.

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Compounds derived from hops - the flowers that give beer a bitter flavor - can likely improve cognitive and other functions in people with metabolic syndrome, according to new research at Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Science University.The research is good...
hops, beer, metabolic syndrome, estrogen, xanthohumol
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2018-35-05
Monday, 05 February 2018 11:35 AM
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