Heavy on carbs and sugar content, beer has long been plagued with a bad rep when it comes to health and weight gain. I mean, there’s a reason we call it the dreaded “beer belly.” Yet new evidence could soon lead us to believe the complete opposite.
According to a study published in the journal Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, beer contains one compound that could actually help suds drinkers lose weight. Researchers at Oregon State University looked specifically at the effects of xanthohumol, a natural flavonoid found in hops. Their results, based on lab tests on mice, show that higher levels of xanthohumol “significantly improved some of the underlying markers of metabolic syndrome in laboratory animals and also reduced weight gain,” lead author Cristobal Miranda wrote.
In the study, Miranda goes on to explain that metabolic syndrome is a set of risk factors that raise your chances of heart disease and other health problems; however, xanthohumol could significantly lower the risk for these issues, according to the results.
The Telegraph reports that mice who were fed the most xanthohumol cut their bad low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 80pc and their insulin levels decreased by 42 percent. “This is the first time we’ve seen one compound with the potential to address so many health problems,” Miranda told the news site. “These were very dramatic improvements.”
But before you take this as a reason to pick up a 30-rack on your way home, note that much more research must be done first. Miranda stresses that we cannot assume the same benefits could be safely achieved with humans—especially when the mice were given 60mg of the compound for every kilogram of body weight daily, which would be the same as one of us drinking 3,500 pints of beer every day.