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Beer: Can it help fight off the common cold?

Home - by - December 11, 2012 - 12:45 America/New_York - 14 Comments

The Week

New research suggests a curious connection between public drunkenness and a resistance to colds

Feel a cold coming on? Have a beer. Or 30.

In a new study from Sapporo — yes, the Japanese brewery — scientists found that humulone, a chemical compound in hops (which give beer its bitter taste), can help protect against the respiratory syncytial virus, or RS for short, which has been linked to cold-like symptoms in adults, says researcher Jun Fuchimoto.

Just one tiny problem. To ingest enough humulone to unlock beer’s anti-viral power, you’d have to drink a lot of the brew — around 360 ounces, which works out to about 30 cans. Since that’s a tad impractical, the next step, says the team, is to investigate the compound’s cold-fighting benefits further and perhaps eventually add it to food and non-alcoholic beverages.

This study is just the latest to highlight beer’s surprising health benefits. Women over 25 who drank beer in moderate amounts were shown to have lower blood pressure than those who opted for wine or spirits. And dark beers often come packing several different B vitamins, as well as calcium, magnesium, and selenium — an important antioxidant that helps the immune system fight off nasty infections.

 

» 14 Comments

  1. Boobie the Rocket Dog

    December 11th, 2012

    You betcha! There’s a loaf of bread and a shot of medicine in every pitcherfull!!! Heading out to the bar as soon as my banner printer is done.

    (Happy Birthday Nancy B. fellow patron).

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  2. Boobie the Rocket Dog

    December 11th, 2012

    Whoa! Is that Maker’s Mark ON TAP??
    That’s some high-end bar.

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  3. Unneutral

    December 11th, 2012

    Can It Help Fight Off The Common Cold?

    Better safe than sorry.

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  4. hanoverfist

    December 11th, 2012

    I rarelly catch a cold.
    So yes it helps.

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  5. grayscape

    December 11th, 2012

    That explains why I haven’t been sick in 30 years.

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  6. Stranded in Sonoma

    December 11th, 2012

    …dark beers often come packing several different B vitamins, as well as calcium, magnesium, and selenium…

    Won’t a good multi-vitamin do the same thing?

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  7. Maudie N Mandeville

    December 11th, 2012

    30 beers? 15′s my limit. 15X24oz tall boys. Hey! It still works out to 360 ozs. Picture me healthy!

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  8. Tragic Redemption (formerly muddjuice)

    December 11th, 2012

    I don’t drink much and I rarely get sick. I do have some alcohol here and there and it does warm me up, so, in a way it kepps out the common cold….

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  9. FreeMan & Sarah Intend to Defend

    December 11th, 2012

    I have a cold right now, even stayed home from work today. 30 you say? Best get a start on it now.

    I noticed for many years that people who drank wine, beer and stronger stuff were hardly ever caught colds.

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  10. norman einstein

    December 11th, 2012

    @Maudie, you’re my kind of gal!

    @Stranded, “Won’t a good multi-vitamin do the same thing?”
    Quit tryin’ to change the subject. Who axed ya, anyway?

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  11. Plain Jane

    December 11th, 2012

    Answer is YES. But Gentleman Jack works faster.
    And I don’t even have to read the article.

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  12. serfer62

    December 11th, 2012

    Vitamin tables give the beer a funny taste Thats why I take mine straight

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  13. Chip Kale

    December 11th, 2012

    Beer. Is there anythoing it can’t do?

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  14. Chip Kale

    December 11th, 2012

    *anything*
    That’s what I get for trying to type after happy hour!

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