To Ward Off Winter Sniffles, Drink Beer?

Chemical in hops fights off virus ... if you drink a ton of it: study
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2012 11:15 AM CST
Updated Dec 9, 2012 2:58 PM CST
To Ward Off Winter Sniffles, Drink Beer?
Sapporo Breweries cited a new medical study that found the hops in beer can protect children from forms of bronchitis and pneumonia.   (denmarcbros)

The good news: Beer can actually fight off a virus that causes pneumonia. The bad news: The virus hits those not yet of drinking age the hardest ... and they'd have to down five six-packs to reap the benefits. Citing a study by Sapporo Medical University, Japan's Sapporo Breweries yesterday announced that the chemical compound humulone—found in key beer ingredient hops—gives beer its bitter taste and protects against the respiratory syncytial virus, reports the AFP.

That virus can "cause serious pneumonia and breathing difficulties for infants and toddlers." Infected adults experience less serious cold-like symptoms. Unfortunately, there isn't a ton of humulone in beer, so you'd have to drink around 30 cans to get any virus-fighting benefits. But scientists say they hope to use the discovery to make non-alcoholic products for children. (More beer stories.)

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