London: A key ingredient found in beer may help ward off cold and flu virus, a new study has revealed.
Researchers at Sapporo Medical University found that humulone, a chemical compound in hops, was effective against the respiratory syncytial (RS) virus and was found to have an anti-inflammatory effect, the Daily Mail reported.
Jun Fuchimoto, a researcher from the beer company, said: “The RS virus can cause serious pneumonia and breathing difficulties for infants and toddlers, but no vaccination is available at the moment to contain it.”
Particularly common during cold winter months, the RS virus can also cause symptoms similar to that of the common cold in adults.
Sapporo Breweries now hopes to create humulone-containing food and (non-alcoholic) beverages that both adults and children can consume.
It’s not the first time that the health benefits of beer have been touted.
In November, Alexis Nasard, chief commercial officer of Heineken, announced that beer was not only natural but “healthy.”
In an interview with CNBC, he added that beer has fewer calories than a lot of things, including a glass of milk.
Previous research has suggested that drinking beer may help build better bones thanks to its high silicon content.
The mineral is important for the growth and development of bone and connective tissue and helping reduce the risk of the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis.
Since only small quantities of humulone can be found in beer, researchers said that you would have to drink about 30 12 oz. cans of it to benefit from the anti-virus effect.