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
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 10 things you need to know today: October 21, 2014
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- Paul Krugman, Amazon, and the left's backwards view of book-industry titans
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
Subscribe to the Week