Want a healthier liver? Have Beer with Hops

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Light beer and hop in basket isolated on white background

There is a new study pointing to beer as a “healthier” choice and the presence of hops makes all the difference.

The study suggests that beer drinkers pick the “pale ale” variety as it contains more hops and is believed to stop the accumulation of hepatic fat around the liver.

This supports recent discoveries that people who prefer spirits over beers with hops are more inclined to developing liver problems. Also, the more hops there are in beer, as in the case of pale ale, the better for the liver.

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Hop is a flower from the hop plant Humulus lupulus used by some beer manufacturers to enhance flavor and stability in their products. Beer or ale containing hops have a more bitter and zestier flavor. Hops are also popular ingredients in herbal concoctions used for treating arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other ailments.

One of the known causes of liver disease is the accumulation of hepatic fat around the organ. Taking excessive alcoholic drinks increases one’s risk of developing fatty liver disease.

In this light, experts conducted experiments to find out the effect of hop-rich pale ale and its main contents on the organ.

Three sets of lab mice were tested. The first two were fed with ordinary beer and pale ale respectively. The third set of mice were fed with pure alcohol drinks.

Experts started observing the livers of mice in less than 24 hours after taking their booze. Those who took pure alcoholic and non-hop beers had more hepatic fat. Those who took pale ale had very little of this fat.

This finding was published in Alcohol and Alcoholism, the official journal of the Medical Council on Alcohol (MCA). It confirms that hops help prevent fat accumulation in the liver and supports other findings that beer, including pale ale drinkers have fewer health issues versus alcohol drinkers.

The team also confirmed that mice taking hop-laden drinks had less damage in their livers, suggesting that this ingredient has antioxidant properties. Also, inducible nitric oxide synthase or iNOS levels in these mice were found to be minimal. Levels of iNOS in mice who took non-hop drinks were much higher. According to the team, this enzyme could have intervened with the efficacy of hops in the body.

While the study reveals the benefits of beer over other alcoholic drinks, drinking in moderation is by far the healthier route. Cheers!

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