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 oestrogen. It also helps to prevent the release of a protein called PSA which encourages the spread of prostate cancer.
Scientists have long known that substances in hops help to block oestrogen. This is the first time, however, that they have been found to also inhibit testosterone.
‘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.