Brewing & Distilling

Health Benefits of Highly Hopped Beers

Big, highly hopped beers are always a favorite of mine, especially around the holidays. During what can be an otherwise very stressful season, I find that IPA (India Pale Ale) beers seem to help me “relax and chill out.” A big reason is the hops, which have been known for centuries to contain some positive properties for humans. They are antibacterial (help control lactobacillus), soporific (aid in sleeping), and recent research found that the xanthohumol in hops might have some anti-carcinogen (cancer fighting) properties as well.

And now, another compound, which has been recently identified in IPA called trigonelline, may have some very exciting properties. So much so, that the presenter1 mentioned that it has a lot of “anti-bad stuff.” Sounded great, so I did some additional digging. Sure enough, here is what I discovered.

One abstract I found online states, “Trigonelline has hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, neuroprotective, antimigraine, sedative, memory-improving, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-tumor activities, and it has been shown to reduce diabetic auditory neuropathy and platelet aggregation.“ Trigonelline has known to be found in certain plants and Arabica coffee, but was not known to be in hops until just recently. This gives us another reason to like IPA even more than before!

So, what does this have to do with Birko, you ask? At Birko, we like to stay in touch with current food safety scientific studies of all kinds, even if it does not at first glance seem to have anything to do with our normal day-to-day activities. Due to all of the beneficial attributes it contains, trigonelline is a compound that I think you will be hearing more about in the near future. If the research pans out and found to be as good as it sounds, it will no doubt be touted in food and beverage products like Arabica coffee and highly-hopped beers. If this presents any cleaning issues, we can help with that as well!

1 MBAA-RMD – Applications of NMR Metabolomics to Brewing – 11/11/2014