Is beer good for you? Study finds anti-virus powers

Consuming large quantities of a key ingredient in beer can protect against winter sniffles and even some serious illnesses in small children, a Japanese brewery said citing a scientific study.

A in hops, the plant brewers use to give beer its , provides an effective guard against a virus that can cause severe forms of pneumonia and in youngsters, Sapporo Breweries said Wednesday.

In research with scientists at Sapporo Medical University, the compound—humulone—was found to be effective in curbing the respiratory syncytial (RS) virus, said the company, which funded the study.

"The RS virus can cause serious pneumonia and for infants and toddlers, but no vaccination is available at the moment to contain it," said Jun Fuchimoto, a researcher from the company.

The virus tends to spread in winter and can also cause cold-like symptoms in adults.

Fuchimoto said such small quantities of humulone were present in beer that someone would have to drink around 30 cans, each of 350 millilitres (12 oz), for it to have any virus-fighting effect.

"We are now studying the feasibility of applying humulone to food or non-alcoholic products," he said. "The challenge really is that the bitter taste is going to be difficult for children."

The research also found that humulone alleviated inflammation caused by infection from the virus, the brewery said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Keeping beer fresh longer

Apr 13, 2011

Researchers are reporting discovery of a scientific basis for extending the shelf life of beer so that it stays fresh and tastes good longer. For the first time, they identified the main substances that cause the bitter, ...

Japanese plan to brew 'space beer'

May 28, 2008

A Japanese brewery Tuesday said it was planning the first "space beer," using offspring of barley once stored at the International Space Station.

Saudi Arabia confirms 2nd case of SARS-like virus

Nov 05, 2012

(AP)—Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry has confirmed that a second person in the kingdom has contracted a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to three the number of those sickened by it in the Gulf region in recent ...

Recommended for you

WHO: Ebola moving faster than control efforts (Update)

2 hours ago

An Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 700 people in West Africa is moving faster than the efforts to control the disease, the head of the World Health Organization warned as presidents from the affected ...

Quick blood test for malaria

2 hours ago

Siemens is working on a procedure that would allow blood to be routinely tested for malaria. Physicians normally diagnose the tropical disease by using a microscope to search for parasites in blood samples. ...

User comments