GREEK REPORTER – Researchers have suggested in a recent study that hop flower extracts found in beer could hold the key to preventing Alzheimer’s which is a common form of dementia.
Hops generally act as stabilizing agents in all beers. For their study, researchers from the University of Milano-Bicocca tested four common varieties of hop flower extracts to determine whether they would help to prevent brain protein clumping affiliated with Alzheimer’s.
The Hop varieties put to test included Cascade, Saaz, Tettnang, and Summit which the researchers exposed to amyloid proteins and human nerve cells.
What their findings revealed was that they were able to block amyloid beta proteins from clumping around cells. In addition, they contain antioxidant properties believed to protect cells in the body.
Hop extracts in beer also triggered a renewal process called autophagic pathways. That is where the body breaks down and reuses old cell parts to increase efficiency.
All beer production uses them as ingredients, although they are more often in larger quantities in ales like Indian Pale Ales (IPA). They are also in herbal teas and soft drinks.
Causes of Alzheimer’s
According to information from the Alzheimer’s Association, there is no single cause linked to Alzheimer’s disease as it develops from multiple factors such as genetics, lifestyle and environment.
However, researchers involved in this particular study attributed it to amyloid beta proteins, which are naturally occurring, clumping together to form plaques that collect between neurons, disrupting cell function.
Hops in Tettnang cultivated a town in the Bodensee district in southern Baden-Württember in Germany were the top performing, as they helped clear out proteins that were defunct due to high levels of antioxidants …
One should note that their findings in no way advocate people drinking more beer as alcohol is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s.
Nevertheless researchers did find that, along with other remedies, hops could serve as the basis of foods lessening the risk of neurodegenerative diseases …