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Beer and Prostate Cancer

Can Beer Prevent Postate Cancer?


Updated July 09, 2009

Beer and prostate cancer a good match? A new study rom Oregon State University suggests that beer may prevent prostate cancer.

A compound in hops, the main ingredient in beer, has showed promise in slowing down the growth of prostate cancer cells. The compound xanthohumol, also slowed the growth of cells that cause enlarged prostates.

In means of prostate cancer prevention, xanthohumol also has the ability to cause programmed cell death. This plays an important role in cancer prevention.

"We've shown that the addition of xanthohumol in a cell culture blocks the signal of NF-KappaB protein and works to slow down the growth of benign prostatic hyperplasia and malignant prostate cancer cells," Emily Ho, an assistant professor said in a press release.

This may sound like great news to beer drinkers worldwide, but there is a catch. Xanthohumol is contained in such small quantities in beer that a person would have to consume more than 17 beers to have the same results as the study.

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol are linked to several other types of cancer like liver cancer and breast cancer.

A German beer company has developed a beer that contains 10 more times the amount of xanthohumol than in regular brews. It is currently not available outside the German market.

The bottom line is that the research is preliminary, and this is by no means an excuse to drink heavy amounts of beer! Hopefully, this research will lead to a pill that contains concentrated amounts of xanthohumol.

Source: Oregon State University Media Release. Beer Compound Shows Potent Promise in Prostate Cancer Battle]Beer Compound Shows Potent Promise in Prostate Cancer Battle, May 30, 2006.
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