Fight Cancer While Shot-Gunning Some Beers

    Once we arrived, I bought the darkest and heaviest beer possible, a Stone Imperial Russian Stout.

    A lot of people don’t like hoppy or dark beers because of their strong, bitter or roasty taste. Instead, they prefer generic sissy lagers that taste like water. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. I can appreciate a good light beer. But there’s something in these rich, robust flavored brews that you should really know about. 

    Within these carefully crafted microbrews is a compound derived from flowering hops, Xanthohumol (XN), that is chemoprotective, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic. Almost 200 scientific papers have been published on this compound and how it is a natural therapeutic for breast cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, leukemia, neuroprotection, liver inflammation, etc. Many of the pioneering studies came out of Germany, one of the major beer countries of the world.

    Originally, hops were added to beer as a preservative. The India Pale Ale (IPA) had a significantly larger amount of hops to prevent beer spoilage while on the ocean voyage from England to India. Now, brewers just add hops for the taste and stabilization. 

    Because of the brewing process, you can’t drink enough XN in a regular beer for it to be therapeutic. When the grains and hops are boiled, the most therapeutic form, XN, is converted into a less therapeutic form, isoXN. What a waste.

    In 2005, a German scientist took a break from his regular biochemical and biomedical research to develop a method to brew a beer with 20 times greater XN than regular beer.  What he figured out was that the hoppiest beers don’t actually contain the most XN. Instead, dark beers that contain roasted barley, such as stouts and porters, actually had the highest amount of XN in them. It’s believed that the roasted malt extracts uniquely contain “heavier” compounds that bind XN and protect it from the conversion to isoXN during boiling.

    The literature states that dark beers (like the Imperial Russian Stout) can get up to roughly 20 percent as much XN as the beer that Wunderlich (the German scientist) created. But if you want to make a beer with as much XN as he did, you’re going to have to make it yourself. 

    Obviously there are homebrew kits available online, and YouTube is an excellent resource. But keep in mind that you are at UCSD. Porter’s pub at UCSD hosts a home brew club that meets and brews a couple times a month. Within our community, we should have all the tools necessary to brew the most potent cancer-fighting beer possible.

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