Researchers from the University of Tokushima in Japan have found a prenylated flavonoid in hops, called 8-prenylnarigenin (8-PN), that can help preserve muscle mass and keep your muscles from deteriorating. Immobilized mice were given a diet of hops with the compound and saw little to know muscle deterioration. Mice not given 8-PN saw a 10% drop in their muscle mass. Follow-up experiments found that mice given the plant compound also had 10 times the amount of the protective substance in their systems.
Though you would have to drink 154 pints a day to get enough of 8-PN to be effective, this discovery can lead to new drugs to help preserve your muscles. Japanese are currently looking for a way to use the drug for astronauts who are kept in cramped spaces for extended periods of time.
This is not the only magic compound found in beer, nicotinamide riboside is believed to help prevent weight gain and diabetes. Though there is not enough of these magic molecules in beer to receive their full benefits from drinking, their discovery can lead to wonderful drugs for a healthier tomorrow. Beer, the drink that keeps on giving.