Unlocking Potential: Hop Flower Extracts as Guardians Against Alzheimer’s

Unlocking Potential: Hop Flower Extracts as Guardians Against Alzheimer’s


We had just gotten home from our State College visit where Amy had her Walk to End ALZ event on Saturday, November 4th. While signing into my Mozilla Firefox browser for the day, on the ‘pocket’ articles that constitutes my opening homepage, there was an article about a link between beer and Alzheimer’s and how beer could help in preventing Alzheimer’s.

I wanted to pass this information along to everyone who reads our blog, especially with our strong ties to Alzheimer’s and Alzheimer’s Awareness. You can read the article here: Beer Could Be the Key to Preventing Alzheimer’s – Greek Reporter (Nov. 9, 2022).

In a groundbreaking exploration into Alzheimer’s prevention, researchers have uncovered a potential game-changer: hop flower extracts, a common ingredient in beer. This discovery sheds light on the multifaceted role of hops, long recognized for their stabilizing properties in all types of beers.

The Study: Investigating Hop Varieties

The University of Milano-Bicocca spearheaded a meticulous study, putting four widely-used hop varieties—Cascade, Saaz, Tettnang, and Summit—under scrutiny. The objective was to discern their impact on preventing the clumping of brain proteins linked to Alzheimer’s. The researchers subjected these hop varieties to amyloid proteins and human nerve cells, seeking a breakthrough in the fight against this debilitating form of dementia.

Remarkable Findings: A Shield Against Protein Clumping

The study yielded promising results. Hop extracts not only impeded the clumping of amyloid beta proteins around cells, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s, but also showcased antioxidant properties. This dual action not only protects the body’s cells but also points towards a potential preventive measure against neurodegenerative diseases.

Beer Production Dynamics: Hops in the Spotlight

Hop shoots growing up out of the ground out of our home gardens.

While hop extracts are integral to all beer production, their concentration is notably higher in ales, such as the renowned Indian Pale Ales (IPA). Additionally, these extracts find their way into herbal teas and soft drinks, underscoring their versatility beyond the brewing process.

Autophagic Pathways: A Renewal Process Unleashed

An intriguing aspect of the study was the activation of autophagic pathways by hop extracts present in beer. This renewal process involves breaking down and repurposing old cell components, enhancing overall cellular efficiency. This additional layer of complexity highlights the potential holistic benefits of incorporating hops into dietary habits.

Tettnang Hops: A Standout Performer

Tettnang Hops hanging on the vine.

Delving deeper into the study, Tettnang hops, cultivated in the Bodensee district of southern Baden-Württemberg, Germany, emerged as standout performers. These hops demonstrated a unique ability to clear out malfunctioning proteins, attributed to their heightened levels of antioxidants. This specific finding elevates the potential of hops as a key component in foods designed to prevent neurodegenerative diseases.

Understanding Alzheimer’s: The Role of Amyloid Beta Proteins

While Alzheimer’s is a complex disease influenced by various factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and environment, the study pinpointed amyloid beta proteins as a significant contributor. These naturally occurring proteins tend to clump together, forming plaques that disrupt cell function, leading to the development of Alzheimer’s.

A Complex Landscape: Potential Remedies and Medications

Recognizing the complexity of Alzheimer’s, the study does not propose a singular solution. However, it aligns with recent strides in medication development. The FDA’s accelerated approval of Aducanumab, an immunotherapy targeting beta-amyloid proteins, stands out as a notable achievement. Ongoing research aims to determine its impact on cognitive decline over time, offering hope for the future.

A Holistic Approach: Beyond Hops

(Take note, we personally do not believe much in holistic approaches, and prefer the more scientific backings of the Alzheimer’s community and research, but to give all the information, we are presenting it here.)

While the findings emphasize the potential of hops, it is crucial to note that the study does not advocate increased beer consumption, as alcohol remains a recognized risk factor for Alzheimer’s. However, the research underscores the multifaceted approach to Alzheimer’s prevention, with hops serving as a foundational element in a broader strategy.

Exploring Alternatives: Olive Oil and Cognitive Health

Beyond hops, recent scientific publications, including the MICOIL study, highlight the potential benefits of extra virgin olive oil in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s without adverse side effects. These diverse interventions showcase the evolving landscape of combating Alzheimer’s, combining innovative therapies with dietary strategies for a comprehensive approach.

In Summary

Nugget Hops Hanging on the Vine

A brief, recap and summary of the article and study as a whole:

In a groundbreaking study conducted by the University of Milano-Bicocca, researchers explored the potential of hop flower extracts, commonly found in beer, as a preventive measure against Alzheimer’s disease. The study focused on four prevalent hop varieties—Cascade, Saaz, Tettnang, and Summit—to investigate their impact on inhibiting the clumping of amyloid beta proteins, a key factor associated with Alzheimer’s. The findings revealed that hop extracts not only successfully hindered the clumping of these proteins around cells but also exhibited antioxidant properties, showcasing potential protective effects on the body’s cells. The study highlighted the versatility of hop extracts, commonly used in beer production, especially in ales like Indian Pale Ales (IPA), as well as in herbal teas and soft drinks.

Tettnang hops, cultivated in the Bodensee district of southern Baden-Württemberg, Germany, emerged as standout performers in the study. These hops demonstrated a unique ability to clear out malfunctioning proteins due to their elevated levels of antioxidants. The researchers suggest that this specific characteristic positions hops, especially Tettnang hops, as potential key components in foods designed to prevent neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the complexity of Alzheimer’s, the study adds a promising dimension to the ongoing exploration of preventive measures, showcasing the potential of incorporating hop extracts into dietary habits to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

While the study emphasized the positive aspects of hop extracts, it cautioned against increased beer consumption, given that alcohol remains a recognized risk factor for Alzheimer’s. However, the research underscores a multifaceted approach to Alzheimer’s prevention, aligning with recent advancements such as the FDA’s accelerated approval of Aducanumab, an immunotherapy targeting beta-amyloid proteins. The evolving landscape of combating Alzheimer’s encompasses not only innovative therapies but also dietary interventions, as evidenced by the potential benefits of extra virgin olive oil highlighted in recent scientific publications, providing hope for a comprehensive strategy in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases.

The Study and Article

For more information, you can read the original article here: Greek Report – Beer Could Be the Key to Preventing Alzheimer’s.

An article mentioned in the Greek Report article: Human Brain Cells Learn Faster Than AI Study Finds

The study: Medical News Today – Might beer hop compounds help treat Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s Association

Of course, the most reliable and accurate information, as well as help for loved ones, as well as caretakers can be found at the Alzheimer’s Association’s website. They are the leading fighter against Alzheimer’s and Dementia and their website has all the resources a person could need for their fight against Alzheimer’s. You can also go to their website to donate and to help fund research to fight Alzheimer’s.

Thank You For Reading

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