Beer is a natural beverage low calorie, low degree of alcohol, no fats or sugars and a significant amount of carbohydrates, vitamins, and proteins. Beneficial health qualities are based in the presence of the antioxidant compounds (polyphenols), which reduce the presence of free radicals in the organism, and phytoestrogens, elements biosimilar to natural estrogens. In pregnant women, beer, obviously alcohol-free, presents elements in its composition that differs it from other fermented beverages as it is the folic acid, vitamin necessary to prevent defects of the neural tube in the foetus or regulate homocysteine.
With regard to breastfeeding, beer alcohol-free supplementation increases the antioxidant activity in breast milk and therefore reduces the oxidative stress of the new-born after birth in menopause, the presence of antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients, and dietetic fibre, as well as phytoestrogens, is highly beneficial in the prevention of pathologies arising from the decline in estrogens. Osteoporosis also is effectively combated by the beer. The intake of beer favours a greater bone mass in women, irrespective of their gonadal status.
Beer is one of the earliest human inventions and globally the most consumed alcoholic beverage in terms of volume. In addition to water, the ‘German Beer Purity Law’, based on the Bavarian Beer Purity Law from 1516, allows only barley, hops, yeasts and water for beer brewing. The extracts of these ingredients, especially the hops, contain an abundance of polyphenols such as kaempferol, quercetin, tyrosol, ferulic acid, xanthohumol/isoxanthohumol/8-prenylnaringenin, α-bitter acids like humulone and β-bitter acids like lupulone. 8-prenylnaringenin is the most potent phytoestrogen known to date. These compounds have been shown to possess various anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative,antiangiogenic,anti-melanogenic,antiosteoporotic and anti-carcinogenic effects. Epidemiological studies on the association between beer drinking and skin disease are limited while direct evidence of beer compounds in clinical application is lacking. Potential uses of these substances in dermatology may include treatment of atopic eczema, contact dermatitis, pigmentary disorders, skin infections, skin aging, skin cancers, and photo protection, which require an optimization of the bio stability and topical delivery of these compounds. Further studies are needed to determine the bioavailability of these compounds and their possible beneficial health effects when taken by moderate beer consumption.
Hop polyphenols can inhibit the growth of Streptococci, thereby delaying the onset of dental caries.Dark beers particularly inhibit the synthesis of a polysaccharide that anchors such bacteria to the teeth.
Hops have been used for centuries as a flavoring agent in beer. But over the years, a recurring suggestion has been that hops, and therefore beer, may be estrogenic—thanks to a potent phytoestrogen in hops known as hopein. Might beer drinking affect our hormones?
Hops are more effective than other widely used plant preparations in alleviating post-menopausal symptoms.
Hop extracts suppress menopausal hot flushes. Hops are a constituent of some herbal breast enhancement preparations for women.
Beer Scientists describe the received wisdom that moderate beer consumption may help in the initiation and success of breast-feeding. It may be that an as yet unidentified barley polysaccharide promotes prolactin secretion. Perhaps too the relaxing effects of alcohol and hop components have a beneficial impact on lacto genesis.
The level of the principle isoflavanoid, isoxanthohumol, found in beer (1.5 mg/l or less) is some 20-fold less than the effective human dose for anticancer treatments. Beer Scientist also suggest that beer may account for around 10% of the daily intake of phytoestrogens. Such phytoestrogens are understood to counter breast cancer, as well as cardiovascular disease.
Now, even just the alcohol in beer can reduce testosterone levels in men. So, when beer was tested as a source of estrogens, the alcohol was first removed. They tested the equivalent of one can of beer a day for one month on the hormone levels of postmenopausal women, so as not to confound the results with endogenous estrogens, and they found significant alterations of hormonal levels during the beer month and then coming back to baseline a week afterward. But does this have any clinical effects—either good or bad?
A cross-sectional study of about 1,700 women found that beer drinkers appeared to have better bone density, perhaps because of the pro-estrogenic effects. They don’t recommend women start drinking beer for bone health but suggest it may have beneficial bone effects for women who already drink. What about helping with hot flashes? About half of postmenopausal and perimenopausal women suffer from hot flashes, whereas the prevalence in Japan may be ten times lower—presumed to be because of their soy consumption.
What about hops? There have been a few studies like this, and this, showing potential benefit, leading to this 2013 review, suggesting that hops extracts may be somewhat effective in treating menopausal discomfort.
But that was before this study, which reported extraordinary results with about a half teaspoon of dried hops flowers. For example, hot flashes on the bottom. In the placebo group on the right there, the women started out having about 23 hot flashes a week, and throughout the three-month study, continued to have 23 hot flashes a week. In the hops group, they started out even worse, but then down to 19 at the end of the first month, then nine, then just once a week, basically. And similar findings were reported for all the other menopausal symptoms measured.
But hey, animal estrogens work, too. Millions of women used to be on horse hormones, Premarin, from pregnant mare urine. That took care of hot flashes, too, and curtailed osteoporosis—but caused a pesky little side effect called breast cancer. Thankfully, when this was realized, and millions of women stopped taking it, breast cancer rates fell in countries around the world. This is data from California.
The question, then, is are the estrogens in hops more like the breast cancer-promoting horse estrogens, or the breast cancer-preventing Soy estrogens? The key to understanding the health-protective potential of the soy phytoestrogens is understanding the difference between the two types of estrogen receptors. There’s alpha receptors and beta receptors.
Unlike animal estrogen, the soy phytoestrogens bind preferentially to the beta receptors. And in breast tissue, they’re like Yin and yang, with the alpha receptors signaling breast cell proliferation— explaining why horse hormones increase breast cancer risk; whereas the beta receptors, where the soy binds, oppose that proliferative impact.
So, do the hops phytoestrogens prefer beta too? No, 8-PN is a selective estrogen receptor alpha promoter. Surprisingly, and in clear contrast to the soy, 8-PN is a much weaker binder of the beta than of alpha. So, that explains why hops are such a common ingredient in so-called breast enhancing supplements because it acts more like estrogen. Given the breast cancer concerns, use of such products should be discouraged.
But just drinking beer could provide the exposure to the hops estrogen, as is found in these kinds of products—which could help explain why beer may be more carcinogenic to the breast than some other forms of alcohol.
The stereotype is that girls tend to drink wine or lighter beers while men prefer darker ales or hoppy brews. Recent trending online information, however, claims that hoppy beers might contain a feminine product that can increase estrogen levels and Gynecomastia (man boobs), as well as contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Hops are the female flowers of the hop plant and have high levels of phytoestrogen or estrogen for plants and that hops found in your favorite IPAs could potentially lead to man boobs.
Hops were historically used in herbal medicine pre-1500s to treat insomnia and as a source of phytoestrogen to help with menopause and endometriosis among women. Hops might have also been used to reduce sexual desire among monks, though it’s difficult to substantiate whether it really worked. Of course, we’ve all heard that when you’re too drunk, you can’t keep it up — and this is where the term “Brewer’s Droop” comes from.
But is this information really scientific? There haven’t been any studies done to provide evidence to Buhner’s claims. Yes, hops contain phytoestrogen, but to what extent can consumption of IPAs lead to man boobs or other estrogen-related issues in men? Is “Brewer’s Droop” caused by hops or just by drinking too much?
Of course, don’t let this prevent you from drinking IPAs if you’re a dude. The amount of phytoestrogen actually consumed in a few IPAs isn’t going to directly give you man boobs. Besides, phytoestrogen is frequently found in foods like soybeans, wheat, beans, carrots, potatoes -and even coffee and marijuana. It’s unnecessary to steer away from hoppy beers, and the only concern a man should have when drinking a lot of beer is the calorie intake (which is likely the biggest contributor to the beer gut and man boobs).
If you suffer from man boobs and you drink a lot of beer… Quit blaming the estrogen and go for a run.
While hops in beer may actually be positive for women. Hops have aphrodisiac-like qualities for women, as because of the phytoestrogen it contains, which mimic natural estrogen. Low sex drive in women is often caused by low levels of estrogen.
Consuming beer, especially hop-rich varieties like IPA, could actually help restore hormonal balance and help with libido and also alleviate menopausal symptoms of fatigue, irritability, and hot flashes.Of course, hops can be taken directly as a herb as an infusion, but isn’t it more fun to drink a beer instead?
Women, feel free to enjoy a hops-rich beer like an IPA, a pleasure that may impart some health benefits.