Here’s some positive news to send you off to the pub: drinking beer could help you lose weight. Kind of! Beer, one of the most popular alcoholic beverages is widely recognized as being an unhealthy drink. From liver damage to high blood pressure, the dangers to our health are numerous. We’ve even named an overweight body feature – the ‘beer belly’ – after the beverage.
But that bad reputation could be about to change, after a study discovered that a compound present in pints could actually help us lose weight. The report, published in the journal Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, saw researchers at Oregon State University study the effects of xanthohumol, a natural flavonoid found in hops.
Using mice to gauge how varying levels of xanthohumol affects our systems, the researchers found that the compound significantly improved some of the underlying markers of metabolic syndrome in laboratory animals and also reduced weight gain.
Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raise your risk of heart disease and other health problems. Indicators include obesity, high cholesterol and elevated glucose.
However, before you rush to the pub or reach for the bottle, more research is required to show that the same benefits can be safely achieved in humans.
It is also worth pointing out that some of the mice in the study were given 60mg of the compound per every kilogram of body weight every day – which would be the equivalent of a human adult drinking over 3,500 pints of beer every day.
Even if you could find a human who could manage that, you can safely bet that the feat wouldn’t result in weight loss. But who knows. Maybe even a low level of xanthohumol, ingested through one or two pints on a Friday afternoon, might have some weight loss effect.