beer, alcohol
A woman drinks a beer during the famous Oktoberfest in Munich September 28, 2012.Reuters

Beer lovers rejoice! New study claims that a beer compound can slow down progression of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Researchers identified that xanthohumol or Xn, a type of flavonoid found in hops - one of the four main ingredients used to make beer - worked as an anti-dementia agent and protected brain cells against oxidative stress, a well-known factor linked to the progression of various neurodegenerative disorders, The Daily Mail reported.

Dr Jianguo Fang and colleagues from the Lanzhou University in China reached the conclusion after conducting experiments on brain cells from rats.

"In traditional Chinese medicine, hops have been used to treat a variety of ailments for centuries," Dr Jianguo Fang from the Lanzhou University in China, told the Daily Mail. "The presence of a high concentration of Xn in beers might be linked to the epidemiological observation of the beneficial effect of regular beer drinking."

"Xn has attracted considerable interest because of its multiple pharmacological functions, including anti-oxidation, cardiovascular protection, anticancer and cancer chemoprevention, antivirus, anti-obesity, and anti-inflammation."

The study has been detailed in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Beer contains several important nutrients including fibre and B vitamins like B1, B2, B12 and B6.

Water, hops, cereal grains (mainly malted barley and wheat) and yeast are the four main ingredients used to make beer.

The drink, according to, gets its 'zesty, floral' aroma and bitter flavour from seed cones or strobiles, the female flowers of hop plant Humulus lupulus. The ingredient also serves as a natural preservative.

Beer manufacturers mainly use whole hops, its extracts, oils or hop pellets made from its leaves.

Some Other Research-Proven Benefits of Beer

An addiction to alcohol has been linked with several health problems including strokes and liver diseases. However, when taken in moderation, beer has been shown to protect against many deadly diseases.

Following are some research-proven benefits of drinking beer, provided by Care and Timmermans Brewery:

  • Protects against diabetes
  • Reduces risk of kidney stones
  • A nutrient in beer called silicon helps improve bone density
  • Lowers levels of bad cholesterol
  • Prevents heart attacks
  • Helps in skin care
  • Aids in digestion
  • Improves men's fertility
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