Got a cold? A new study shows beer may help

11 Dec


beers (Photo credit: bunchofpants)

Nothing is worse than suffering with a cold but, the general aches and pains, runny nose, and fever are all part of the winter season for many. Take heart, though! According to a study by one of Japan’s largest breweries, beer can help prevent those symptoms and the cold itself. You just have to drink a lot of it.

Sapporo, Japan’s oldest brewery, commissioned a study that found an ingredient in beer that actually fights off the virus that can cause bronchitis and pneumonia as well as the common cold. The compound is found in the hops that are used to season beer and give it its characteristic bitter flavor. Called humulone, the compound is a powerful anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant that explains why the addition of high amounts of hops to beer, as in IPAs, helps the beer last longer. And now, it seems, humulone also helps the human immune system fight off the creeping crud we call the cold.

But, before you run to the beer store before the drugstore the next time you get a cold, you should know that a single bottle of IPA is not going to cure what ails you. The study found that you would have to consume 360 ounces of beer to obtain a therapeutic level of humulone. That’s equivalent to 30 brews.

Though, it would take a lot of beer to cure your cold symptoms, beer is known to have other health benefits. Among those benefits are stronger bones, a healthier heart, reduction of the risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s and cancer, and perhaps surprisingly a reduction in the risk of developing diabetes.

Because of the benefits inherent in humulone, Sapporo is studying ways to add the compound to other drinks and foods.


Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Beer, Beer News


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5 responses to “Got a cold? A new study shows beer may help

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