Could a Beer Ingredient Guard Against Alzheimer’s? A New Study Finds it Might

Sometimes a beer at the end of the day is a perfect way to kick back and relax your mind. A new study finds that there may also be some compounds within the beverage that provide protection for your mind.

A team at the American Chemical Society, a nonprofit that provides chemistry-related information and research, recently investigated the properties of hops, which are used to flavor beer. They learned that certain chemicals extracted from hop flowers may help stop the clumping of amyloid beta proteins, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.


They write in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience, “Our results show that hop is a source of bioactive molecules with synergistic and multitarget activity against the early events underlying AD development. We can therefore think of its use for the preparation of nutraceuticals useful for the prevention of this pathology.”

Nutraceuticals are foods that have medicinal or nutritional value. The team says that past research had indicated that hop flowers have medicinal benefits against Alzheimer’s, as they may interfere with the accumulation of amyloid beta proteins. To test this in their study, the ACS researchers tried to pinpoint which compounds within the plant may be behind this.


After creating and characterizing extracts from four common types of hops, the team conducted tests in lab dishes. They found that the extracts worked as antioxidants and could prevent amyloid beta proteins from clumping in human nerve cells. The most potent extract came from the Tettnang hop, often used in lagers and lighter ales. When it was separated into fractions, the one with the highest polyphenol level demonstrated the strongest antibiotic potential and was the best at limiting beta amyloid accumulation. It also helped induce processes that clear neurotoxic proteins.

The team says that while drinking beer itself may not be protective against Alzheimer’s, their findings show that its compounds could prove useful against the development of the disease.

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