Cheers! Could drinking beer really stave off a winter cold
Humulone, the bitter-tasting chemical compound found in hops, is said to be effective against cold and flu virus Now, a Japanese beer company plans to create
humulone-containing food and non-alcoholic beverages



17:57 GMT, 12 December 2012

You'd be forgiven for thinking a steaming hot toddy is the best remedy for a cold, but according to new research it's lager you should be knocking back to beat the dreaded lurgy.

A new Japanese study suggests that a key ingredient found in beer may help to warn off the winter sniffles.

Researchers at Sapporo Medical University found that humulone, a chemical compound in hops, was effective against the respiratory syncytial (RS) virus and was found to have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Can drinking beer really keep a winter cold at bay

Can drinking beer really keep a winter cold at bay

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

Particularly common during cold winter months, the RS virus can also cause symptoms similar to that of the common cold in adults.


Beer contains natural antioxidants and vitamins that can help prevent heart disease and rebuild muscle.

Darker beers contain more antioxidants, which help reverse cellular damage that occurs in the body.

Hops contain polyphenols, which can help lower cholesterol, fight cancer and kill viruses.

Sapporo Breweries now hopes to
create humulone-containing food and (non-alcoholic) beverages that both
adults and children can consume.

It's not the first time that the health benefits of beer have been touted.

In November, Alexis Nasard, chief commercial officer of Heineken, announced that beer was not only natural but 'healthy'.

In an interview with CNBC, he added that beer has fewer calories than a lot of things, including a glass of milk.Previous research has suggested that drinking beer may help build better bones thanks to its high silicon content.

The mineral is important for the growth
and development of bone and connective tissue and helping reduce the
risk of the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis.

Sniffles: Many Britons suffer from an annual winter cold

Sniffles: Many Britons suffer from an annual winter cold

But before you reach for a cold one, while experts agree that beer may be beneficial for some people when consumed in moderation, guzzling too much beer – or indeed alcohol – can result in weight gain, dehydration and a plethora of other physical and social hazards.

And since only small quantities of
humulone can be found in beer, researchers say you would have to
drink about 30 12 oz. cans of it to benefit from the
anti-virus effect.

However another leading beer expert, Professor Ramon Etruch of the University Hospital in Barcelona, has previously said that only a single unit’s worth of beer is required to obtain some of the beneficial health effects.