Looking up information on the internet is always fun and exciting because it not only pays off with exact details, but also non-exact details that take you on a round-about journey back to the subject at hand, sometimes. It was the same for me when I would look up something in the encyclopedia. Knowledge begats knowledge. With a series of scientific presentations and studies at my fingertips, my mind goes racing to all kinds of possibilities as I circle a subject.
While attending the 2013 Diet and Optimum Health conference at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, I sat in on a presentation by Eric B. Rimm, Sc.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. In Polyphenols and health - More than just a berry good idea, Dr Rimm explained, "Polyphenols exert many potential beneficial health effects which has led an expansion of food composition databases to highlight the most important and highly concentrated subclasses.
One particular group of polyphenols, flavonoids are widely distributed in many plant-based foods/beverage including fruits, vegetables, tea and wine and exert beneficial effects on inflammation, glycemic control, and endothelial function." Inflammation is the scourge of many of our bodily ills like asthma, heart problems, and mental degeneration. Flavonoids? They are like the bees that take care of the queen bee. They aren't essential, but without them the hive wouldn't buzz so much or run so well. They don't have the name recognition and so far they don't have the glory, but just you wait. Flavonoids are antioxidants. Many believe that they are more powerful than vitamins C and E combined. You can watch Dr. Rimm's Public Session #3 Whole Food Approaches to Disease Presentation for more insight.
Writing in their article Antioxidant Activities of Flavonoids researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute explain, "The antioxidant activity of flavonoids depends on their molecular structure, and structural characteristics of certain flavonoids found in hops and beer confer surprisingly potent antioxidant activity exceeding that of red wine, tea, or soy." Basically, flavonoids are plant pigments. The darker the pigment, the more impact? Could be. Flavonoids are found in fruits, vegetables and beverages. There have been articles praising the effects of green tea and red wine, but much can be also be said of coffee, beer and fruit drinks. The subject of spent hops came up in several presentations.
Xanthohumol (XN) is the flavonoid found in hops. Wikipedia defines Xanthohumol as a free radical scavenger and says it has anticancer properties, has immune health activity, and prevents platelete buildup. Whoa. Could this be a new superfood or what?
Fred Stevens, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, and an LPI Principal Investigator, chaired the presentations of Xanthohumol at the conference. I love his interview, A New Twist on Vitamin C and Beer!. In the interview he explained about another flavonoid, proanthocyanidins, "Virtually all plants make proanthocyanidins, also called condensed tannins. They are found in hops, grapes and their seeds, apples, cocoa, tea, and many fruits. Anything that has an astringent taste probably contains a lot of proanthocyanidins." Stevens says, "We found that proanthocyanidins kill cancer cells in vitro by producing hydrogen peroxide." He also says that the anti-oxidant properties of xanthohumol also work in vitro. Reading scientific studies and papers are a lot like a "Fair Witness" in Robert A. Heinlein's masterpiece Stranger in a Strange Land. They only speak the truth from what they know. For example, when asked about the color of a house pointed out to one, the response might be "white on this side." You could guess that all four sides would be white, but you don't know for sure until you have proof. Scientific studies tell you what they know to be true. But research takes time and costs money.
Also, at the conference was Richard B. van Breeman, Ph.D., University of Illinois, Chicago, IL. He spoke on Hops, xanthohumol and women's heath. Van Breeman told me that he needed $250,000 for research on cancer chemoprevention of a spent hops extract. There are several extracts being used in Europe, but they are not approved here in the U.S. He revealed, "The UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research is evaluating the safety and efficacy of botanicals used by women as alternatives to hormone replacement therapy for the management of menopausal symptoms."
Research on flavonoids might produce all kinds of cures and preventions. They might also produce a line of supplements and healthy products like Hoppy Bread, healthy beer batters for fish and chips, Beer Biscuits, 30-Day Relief . . . the possibilities are endless.
c. 2013 - Live2AgeWell.com
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