Hops ingredients - beer can strengthen the structure of the intestinal wall cells

Hops ingredients - beer can strengthen the structure of the intestinal wall cells

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Protection against toxins and bacteria: Ingredients in beer could strengthen the intestinal wall
While beer is extremely popular in many countries, regular or excessive consumption is often discouraged for health reasons. In small quantities, the barley juice could possibly be of health benefit. According to researchers, a hop ingredient strengthens the intestinal wall.

Don't drink too much alcohol
Beer is high on the list of Germans' favorite drinks. However, you should not drink too much of it. After all, high consumption not only promotes the formation of a beer belly, but can in principle damage every organ in the human body. Munich researchers recently reported on a study that showed that high beer consumption is often a trigger for cardiac arrhythmia. However, there are also indications that the popular barley juice can be beneficial for health.

Health benefits from low beer consumption
For example, scientists from the UK found in a study that moderate alcohol consumption (about one beer a day) can reduce the risk of serious heart problems.

And researchers from Switzerland have now found out that a molecule made from hops strengthens the “putty” between intestinal wall cells and thus the barrier against toxins and bacteria, reports the Swiss national news agency (sda).

However, the discovery of the experts from the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) should not lead to increased beer consumption for the purposes of bowel protection. However, a dietary supplement could possibly be developed.

The gut performs various functions
The gut not only regulates digestion and the absorption of nutrients, but also the body's water balance. It also forms an important protective barrier and ensures that no toxins or bacteria end up in the bloodstream.

As explained in the sda ​​report, intestinal wall cells are connected with each other by a kind of “putty”: proteins that connect the membranes of neighboring cells and thus make the spaces impermeable.

This “putty” is also known as “tight junctions”. This barrier is damaged in certain diseases such as Crohn's disease or food intolerance.

Hop ingredient strengthens the intestinal wall
The team led by Veronika Butterweck from the FHNW's Life Sciences School, together with colleagues from Austria and Germany, found that so-called prenylflavonoids from hops, which are also present in beer, can strengthen these tight junctions and sometimes even repair them.

To get their results, the researchers used a kind of artificial intestinal wall in the cell culture dish. They tested the permeability by measuring the electrical resistance.

After the scientists simulated diseases like Crohn's disease with an inflammatory messenger and damaged the artificial intestinal wall, it became more permeable.

Four different hop ingredients were then tested for a possible influence on the tight junctions.

It was shown that the barrier became more impermeable after treatment with one of these substances, the so-called 8-prenylnaringinin, for several days. Accordingly, the “putty” between the cells regenerated again.

As the researchers report in an article recently accepted for publication by the journal "Journal of Natural Products", he was also protected against the inflammatory messenger by pretreatment with the hop molecule.

Positive effects of flavonoids
"There have already been indications from various previous studies that flavonoids have a positive effect on the 'tight junctions'," Butterweck explained in an interview with the news agency sda.

This effect is already known, for example, for the flavonoid kaempferol, which is found in vegetables and fruits, including grapes and grapefruits.

"Now it would be interesting to compare the different plant ingredients, how great the protective effect is for the intestinal wall," says Butterweck.

According to the information, prenylflavonoids are more likely to be found in the dark American ale and Porter beers and also in Pilseners, but less so in wheat beer.

Alternative based on natural substances
However, the scientists advise against increasing beer consumption for intestinal protection. However, it would be conceivable that, based on this discovery, a wellness drink can be created that strengthens the intestine as a dietary supplement.

“There are already yoghurts and similar products with lactobacilli that strengthen the intestinal wall. But you could develop an alternative based on natural products, ”explained the researcher. However, she and her team are not working on a medical application. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Deschutes Brewery Fresh Haze IPA (May 2022).


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