Following a recent study, researchers at Oregon State University have reason to believe that hops—one of the key ingredients in beer—may support a healthy weight and reduce the health risks associated with metabolic syndrome. Or, more specifically, a compound found in the hops called xanthohumol.
Xanthohumol is a natural plant metabolite called a flavonoid, and numerous studies have shown that flavonoids offer countless benefits for human health. In this study, several groups of mice on a high-fat diet were given varying levels of xanthohumol to determine its impact on underlying markers of metabolic syndrome, and the results were promising.
The mice who received the most xanthohumol had an 80 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol levels and a 42 percent drop in insulin. Researchers also noted a 78 percent decrease in the level of a protein called IL-6, which is a key indicator of inflammation in the body. And, even though all of the mice followed the same diet regardless of xanthohumol levels, those given the highest dosage saw 22 percent less weight gain.
“This is the first time we’ve seen one compound with the potential to address so many health problems,” said lead author Cristobal Miranda in a recent news release.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: “You mean I can drink beer and lose weight?” Not so fast. We’re talking the equivalent of more than 3,000 pints a day. However, Miranda and his colleagues believe xanthohumol in the form of a dietary supplement may one day help treat obesity and metabolic syndrome. And hey, that’s pretty good too.