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Doctor's Brew: Studies Find Beer Has Real Healing Powers



BERLIN – The main ingredient in beer is yeast, which is a complex microorganism – a microbe from the fungi kingdom. To make beer, you need microbes, fermentation and bacteria. While this may seem like too much information, here's the cool truth: beer is actually good for you.

Yeast - David O Morgan

"Every time someone brews a batch of beer, in a very real sense he or she is doing a microbiology experiment. If you brew beer at home, you're a microbiologist,” according to a report entitled “If the Yeast Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy,” published by the American Academy of Microbiology.

The American Academy of Microbiology brought together some of the world's leading brewing experts to analyze the beer-making process and the role of yeast.

One of their findings, according to Germany's Die Welt, is that “for much of human history, beer was often safer to drink than the local water supply,” thanks to the antibacterial compounds that come from hops.

These compounds, which are created when hops go through the brewing process, are called humulones. According to researchers, they have anti-inflammatory properties and show great potential, according to scientists.

(credit: John White)

Dr. Werner Kaminsky, a research associate professor of chemistry, writes in a paper published in Angewandte Chemie, that these compounds may have “beneficial effects” on not only diabetes, but also on some cancers.

Kaminsky used a process called X-ray crystallography to figure out the exact structure humulones. Understanding this structure could help researchers incorporate those substances into new pharmaceuticals.

However, Kaminsky warns that drinking a lot of beer is not going to do the trick: the concentration of humulones in beer is too low. While “excessive beer consumption cannot be recommended to propagate good health, isolated humulones and their derivatives can be prescribed with documented health benefits,” he wrote.

There go your big plans for this weekend's intensive “beer therapy” session.

Humulone - Yikrazuul

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