By Adrian Bryant

New Beer Compound Minimizes Weight Gain

beer weight gain

A compound found in beer hops might have the ability to solve a lot of society's health problems. Actually, studies now show that the beer compound might actually help minimize weight gain and lower bad LDL cholesterol levels.

Hop Your Way to Health

As it turns out, the hops used to make beer contain a very important flavonoid called xanthohumol. Flavonoids in other foods like garlic and chocolate have been shown to have powerful health benefits, so researchers at Oregon State University wanted to know what would happen when they gave this particular beer-inspired flavonoid to mice who were also on a high-fat diet.

They divided the mice and gave each group different amounts of the flavonoid to see if that made a difference. In the end, they found some pretty stunning results:

This evidence seems to turn the tables on previous though, and means this beer compound might be another of those natural weight loss supplements you'll want to incorporate into your diet. But wait, don't pop open the beer bottle just yet.

Understanding the benefits of beer

Sure, the mice given the beer compound gained less weight, lowered their cholesterol, and their insulin fell, but what does this have to do with human beings? To understand how this affects your health, first you need to know about metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic Syndrome

According to the American Heart Association, this is a general category for a lot of risk factors that increase your chances of developing cardiovascular issues in the future, as well as Type 2 diabetes:

Generally, when a person has three or more of the above risk factors, they have "metabolic syndrome". If you think you're not at risk or wonder how people could meet three or more risks, think again. The American Heart Association goes on to say that 34 percent of adults will get this syndrome.

Back to Beer

Obviously, you don't want to get metabolic syndrome, or develop any of those risk factors, but how exactly does that relate to beer?

The researchers from the Oregon study explain that although they only tested how the beer compound affected mice, because it worked to improve health on so many levels, and so drastically, it has a lot of potential in humans to help reduce the risk factors that lead to metabolic syndrome in the first place.

For example, Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high glucose levels, and oftentimes obesity. If the hops in beer have the ability to prevent you from gaining weight and to lower blood sugar levels, then it just might be the perfect natural solution to pre-diabetes.

Beer me up! Well… not quite

If you were hoping to include several glasses of beers a day into a healthy diet plan for weight loss and heart health, unfortunately, actually drinking beer won't give you all those great health benefits.

The Oregon research team gave xanthohumol to rats, not actual beer, and they administered it in large doses, 60 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. A milligram might sound small, but converted to human sized portions a person would have to drink 3,500 pints a day!

As far as actual beer consumption goes, the American Heart Association still only recommends drinking in moderation, you know, the good old 12 oz. glass of beer.

Drinking too much too often will still put you at risk for developing a dependence on alcohol, and paradoxically, increase your risk for a lot of the factors the hop compound prevents such as high blood pressure and obesity.

Incorporating the Compound into Your Diet

If you can't consume beer to reap the health benefits, how can you get enough xanthohumol into your diet? Researchers say your best bet is taking a daily supplement for xanthohumol

Of course, to actually see how xanthohumol might be used to treat metabolic syndrome requires more research in humans, but if you want to give the supplement a try, it's already being sold on the market. Before buying, however, remember that this research is preliminary and you should always talk to your doctor before incorporating any supplements into your diet.

Although you might be sad to know beer itself isn't the solution to weight gain and high cholesterol, one of its main components, hops and the flavonoids contained in them, may help people lower their risk for cardiovascular issues and Type 2 diabetes while preventing weight gain.

Written by Vaileria Dennis

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