I always had a sneaking suspicion that drinking moderate amounts of beer was good for me. Turns out I’m right. The presence of the antioxidant Xanthohumol in the oils of hop leaves has been known for awhile (I first wrote about it in December of 2007), but this week even more reports and studies on Xanthohumol and its cancer-fighting agents are surfacing. According to the UK Daily Mail,

Researchers at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg have discovered that beer contains a powerful molecule that helps protect against breast and prostate cancers.

Found in hops, the substance called xanthohumol blocks the excessive action of testosterone and estrogen. It also helps to prevent the release of a protein called PSA which encourages the spread of prostate cancer.

While that isn’t new news, this is apparently the first test on Xanthohumol which indicated that it may block the ‘excessive action of testosterone’; the antioxidant was previously thought to only affect estrogen.

‘Research is still early but in trials we hope to further demonstrate that xanthohumol actively prevents prostate cancer development,’ says Clarissa Gerhauser of the Heidelberg centre. If successful, xanthohumol may one day be developed as a cancer-fighting drug.

As many of you may know, or remember, tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of the day I lost my mother to breast cancer. So the continued research of beer’s cancer-fighting abilities — and the positive results of that research — just goes to show how truly great this passion of mine, of ours, really is. Cheers to beer.



  1. I am so sorry to hear about your mom’s passing, I hope the one-year anniversary was not too difficult for you. I will drink a beer in her honor tonight and to ward off that cancer (like we needed an excuse to drink more beer). Maybe see you at the beer & cheese event on Sat. Hoping to make it to the 3-5p session.

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