Thursday, December 20, 2007
Medical Reports: Cancer-Beating Beer
Say cheers with a nice cup of cold beer. Studies show some brews are good for your health. Tonight, Diana Diaz shows us how one cancer-beating beer may become the next big thing.
WSVN -- Bottoms up, there is more to toast to. Beer may actually be good for your health.
Dr. Markus Herrmann: "Xanthohumol has been shown to be a very active substance against cancer."
Scientists have found a powerful antioxidant inside hops, the flavor component of beer. It's called Xanthohumol or Xan.
Dr. Markus Herrmann: "It comes in small sticky beads, which you find within the hops."
This particular antioxidant inhibits a family of enzymes that can activate the process of cancer. It also helps the body detoxify carcinogens, stopping tumor growth at an early stage. Preliminary studies at Oregon State University show Xan can kill breast, colon, ovarian and prostate cancers.
Prof. Werner Back: "It's very healthy. I think the ingredients in the beer are very good."
Xanthohumol contains antioxidants more powerful than vitamin E, and studies are now showing it also reduces bad cholesterol but just drinking more beer won't do the trick.
It takes 60 beers to equal the amount of Xan the German researchers are brewing in this "health" beer. The next step is working on ways to give all beers higher levels of Xanthohumol and looking for ways to add it to other foods, like chocolate.
The good news for women, another compound in hops can ultimately help prevent post-menopausal hot flashes and osteoporosis.
Diana Diaz: "The key to remember is to drink moderately and researchers say, just like wine, the darker it is, the better it's for you."