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Prostate Health - Beer Ingredient (Hops) May Prevent Prostate Cancer and Enlargement - Xanthohumol Inhibits NF-kappaB Protein in Gland 

June 13th 2006

Prostate Health - Beer Ingredient (Hops) May Prevent Prostate Cancer and Enlargement - Xanthohumol Inhibits NF-kappaB Protein in Gland


Researchers at Oregon State University have found that xanthohumol, a compound found in hops, inhibits NF-kappaB protein in cells along the surface of the prostate gland.  Xanthohumol is a chief ingredient in beer and this finding may lead to a therapy that could prevent both prostate cancer and prostate enlargement.

According to Emily Ho, "We've shown that the addition of xanthohumol in a cell culture blocks the signal of NF-KappaB protein and works to slow down the growth of benign prostatic hyperplasia and malignant prostate cancer cell”.  Ho is assistant professor of nutrition and exercise sciences in OSU's College of Health and Human Sciences and a researcher with OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute.

The researchers warn that since xanthohumol is found in such small amounts, a person would have to drink more than 17 beers a day to consume the same amount found effective in the study.


Xanthohumol is a plant flavonoid compound which can trigger programmed cell death.  Normally cells die after a certain number of divisions, but cancer cells do not.  The researchers believe flavonoids can trigger programmed cell death, which can prevent cancer.

This uncontrolled cell reproduction is a cause of cancer.  Ho says the NF-kappaB protein acts like a signal switch that turns on a variety of animal and human malignancies, including prostate cancer.  Xanthohumol was first discovered in 1913, but only in the past 10 years have scientists found health benefits. 


Since there are many negative health effects due to over consumption of alcohol, the researchers suggest that a drug company might produce a concentrated “dose” of the flavonoid.  The Oregon team says that researchers could work to increase the xanthohumol content of hops.

Hops is already available in supplements.  Also, scientists in Germany have developed a beer that contains 10 times the amount of xanthohumol as traditional brews. The drink is being marketed as a healthy beer, but research is still under way to determine if the liquid has any impact against cancer.

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Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:51 PM