Can Beer Protect You Against Cancer?

Posted on January 22nd, 2010 by Dr. Mercola  |  No Comments »

Beer is the preferred poison of many Americans. There always seems to be a reason to chug one – during a ballgame, after a steak dinner, or just while chilling with family and friends.

Beer drinkers are aware that drinking beer as if it’s water will lead to a beer belly, among other health concerns. Studies show, however, that moderate consumption can actually provide some health benefits.

Recently, researchers at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg have discovered that a powerful antioxidant called xanthohumol, which is found in hops – an aromatic herb which gives beer its bitter flavor – can help fight breast and prostate cancers.

Scientists are already aware that substances in hops help inhibit the action of estrogen but the German study marks the first time that they have been found to block testosterone as well.

Xanthohumol was also found to help prevent the release of PSA, a protein which hastens the spread of prostate cancer.

But hold your horses, beer drinkers, because doctors aren’t about to recommend regular booze consumption as a cancer prevention tip.

The more popular light lager and pilsner beers, which are preferred by more beer drinkers in the U.S., contain less hops than ales and traditional beers like porter and stout. That means you’ll have to drink more than a dozen beers to get enough xanthohumol to experience any potential health benefits, Dr. Joseph Mercola explains.

While moderate consumption of alcohol can provide you with certain health benefits, alcohol use also poses significant health and safety risks, as it impairs driving performance, Dr. Mercola points out. It is also a known fact that alcohol is a neurotoxin, meaning it can poison your brain.

Mercola believes that alcohol is only for people who are at no risk of alcohol addiction and are already at their peak health, which means they have their carbohydrates – sugars and grains – under control, as alcoholic beverages increases insulin levels.

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