MEN now have another excuse to go down the pub thanks to new research
suggesting that a compound in beer may prevent prostate cancer.
Tests showed that the ingredient, xanthohumol, blocked a biological pathway
that allows prostate cancer to be fuelled by the male hormone testosterone.
The disease is commonly treated with drugs that act in a similar way.
Xanthohumol is a powerful antioxidant derived from hops. It belongs to a
family of chemicals called flavonoids found in fruits and vegetables that
are known to have anti-cancer properties.
Previous studies have already suggested that xanthohumol may block the
female hormone oestrogen's ability to stimulate breast cancer. Scientists
now believe it may have a similar effect in men.
In laboratory tests, the compound blocked the molecular "switch" that allows
testosterone to trigger changes in prostate cells that may lead to cancer.