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Beer ingredient aids prostate

15th December 2009

A type of polyphenol present in hops helps prevent prostate cancer, according to new German research.


The compound is a tannin called xanthohumol, and is responsible for the bitter taste of beer.

Xanthohumol blocks male testosterone receptors, which may be why ingesting the molecule helps prevent the development of prostate cancer.

Lead researcher Clarissa Gerhauser of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg said that her team hoped that one day they could demonstrate their finding in animal models and eventually humans, though they had only just begun their research.

Studies have also shown that xanthohumol blocks oestrogen by binding to its receptors.

The researchers said that the hormone-blocking property of the compound may lead to its use in the prevention of both breast- and prostate cancer.

For the purposes of their research, the German team extracted prostate cancer cells that relied on testosterone in order to grow.

When the control cells were given testosterone, they began to secrete prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a common marker for prostate cancer in men.

Gerhauser said that, when her team treated the cells with a cocktail of testosterone and xanthohumol, PSA secretion was inhibited.

She said that the amount of inhibition was proportional to the amount of xanthohumol dispensed to the subjects in the cocktail itself.

So far, the researchers have found similar testosterone-blocking effects using xanthohumol in castrated rats.

Gerhauser said that xanthohumol reduced the effects of the hormones in the prostate tissues of the rats studied by her team.

However, Durado Brooks of the American Cancer Society disagreed.

He said that showing that something works in a test tube and impacts rat prostates was a long way from demonstrating any sort of viability in humans, and that he believed the drug finasteride (Proscar), which has been shown to reduce risk, was a better choice, although taking drugs can be a risky option.

Gerhauser said that because xanthohumol is a plant-based natural remedy, it should be considered for prostate treatment alongside the drugs manufactured by pharmaceutical firms.


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gareth Bold

Saturday 26th December 2009 @ 21:06

While interesting anyone concerned about cancer should know about the data on vitamin D. www.vitaminD3world.com has good summaries of the data and recently offered a neat microtablet fommuatlon of vitamin D

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