Feel a cold coming on? Have a beer. Or 30.
In a new study from Sapporo — yes, the Japanese brewery — scientists found that humulone, a chemical compound in hops (which give beer its bitter taste), can help protect against the respiratory syncytial virus, or RS for short, which has been linked to cold-like symptoms in adults, says researcher Jun Fuchimoto.
Just one tiny problem. To ingest enough humulone to unlock beer's anti-viral power, you'd have to drink a lot of the brew — around 360 ounces, which works out to about 30 cans. Since that's a tad impractical, the next step, says the team, is to investigate the compound's cold-fighting benefits further and perhaps eventually add it to food and non-alcoholic beverages.
This study is just the latest to highlight beer's surprising health benefits. Women over 25 who drank beer in moderate amounts were shown to have lower blood pressure than those who opted for wine or spirits. And dark beers often come packing several different B vitamins, as well as calcium, magnesium, and selenium — an important antioxidant that helps the immune system fight off nasty infections.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- 9 Harvard dropouts who became fabulously successful
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
- How China sparked an Asian frenzy for killer submarines
- The essential techniques that every home cook should know
Subscribe to the Week