Sunday, February 1, 2015

Beer's Xanthohumol Offers Neuroprotection

Beer? Really? Yes, indeed. Scientists are discovering new ways in which beer may yet prove itself as a brain-healthy beverage.

The health-promoting perks of wine have attracted the spotlight recently, leaving beer in the shadows. But scientists are discovering new ways in which the latter could be a more healthful beverage than once thought. They're now reporting in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that a compound from hops could protect brain cells from damage -- and potentially slow the development of disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Jianguo Fang and colleagues note that mounting evidence suggests that oxidative damage to neuronal cells contributes to the development of diseases that originate in the brain. If scientists could find a way to guard these cells from this type of damage, they might be able to help prevent or slow down Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

Adding Neuroprotection with Antioxidants

One compound found in hops, called xanthohumol, has gotten the attention of researchers for its potential benefits, including antioxidation, cardiovascular protection and anticancer properties. Fang's team decided to test xanthohumol's effects on brain cells.

In lab tests, the researchers found that the compound could protect neuronal cells and potentially help slow the development of brain disorders. The scientists conclude xanthohumol could be a good candidate for fighting such conditions.

Removing Aluminum as a Neurotoxin

In a related study, researchers took a closer look at Aluminium (Al) as a well-established neurotoxin. Though it has not been directly implicated as one of the causal factors contributing to Alzheimer’s disease, it clearly damages brain cells.

A group of researchers, observing that silicon (Si) intake can affect the bioavailability of aluminium, did a study to assess whether moderate beer consumption might, as a source of dietary Si, affect the toxicokinetics of Al and thereby limit that element’s neurotoxicity.

The results obtained confirmed that at moderately high levels of beer intake the Si present in the beer was able to reduce Al uptake in the digestive tract and thus was able to slow the accumulation of this metal in the body, brain tissue included.

The study concluded that moderate beer consumption, due to its content of bioavailable silicon, could possibly afford a protective factor for preventing Alzheimer’s.

More Information:
  • The authors acknowledge funding from Lanzhou University and the Natural Science Foundation of Gansu Province.

Journal Reference:
  1. Juan Yao, Baoxin Zhang, Chunpo Ge, Shoujiao Peng, Jianguo Fang. Xanthohumol, a Polyphenol Chalcone Present in Hops, Activating Nrf2 Enzymes to Confer Protection against Oxidative Damage in PC12 Cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2015; 150114105705007 DOI: 10.1021/jf505075n
  2. Role of beer as a possible protective factor in preventing Alzheimer's disease, Food and Chemical Toxicology Volume 46, Issue 1, January 2008, Pages 49–56

1 comment:

  1. Si shoud be stand for Silicium and not silicone in beer...


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