How beer could help fight diseases

Let's raise a bottle for science. It turns out that the secret to a healthy life might be beer. Hops, one of the main ingredients in beer, can help improve your health, from preventing neurodegenerative disorders to fighting insomnia and cancer. Scientists from the University of Idaho are even trying to use two compounds from hops in pharmaceuticals.

According to Popular Science: "The researchers were focused on two acids in particular: humulones, which scientists have long known have antioxidant properties, and lupulones, which aren’t as well understood. Both are bitter-tasting and, together, the two combat bacteria, a quality that the researchers would like to harness in pharmaceuticals. The scientists would need to isolate and extract the acids in order to use them in medication or to create them synthetically, but the process is difficult, and in the past there hasn’t been any way for the researchers to confirm that they had isolated the right compound.

So the researchers are developing a process to synthesize three types of humulones. They start with a common plant-derived compound called phloroglucinol, then perform a number of techniques to reach an intermediate product. They’re still perfecting the final step of turning those products into synthetic acids, but the researchers say they’re close to doing so. It’s taken a lot of trial and error to get this far, they say."

To learn more, read "Scientists Are Taking Apart Beer To Make The Next Antibiotics" from Popular Science.