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   Jul 13

Could BEER help prevent cancer?

Hops, which makes beer, contain potent compound that boosts estrogen

It has been shown to ease menopausal symptoms, give men ‘man boobs’

Studies have shown boosted estrogen metabolism prevents breast cancer

New research shows hops boosts estrogen metabolism in breast cells

For women that enjoy a pint, raise your glass.

New research suggests hops – the flower that makes beer and gives it its zesty taste – could help fend off breast cancer.

The plant has long been tied to hormone levels, with studies showing it gives men ‘man boobs’ and soothes postmenopausal symptoms by boosting estrogen metabolism.

And now, experts at the University of Illinois at Chicago claim that same process could activate chemicals that prevent tumors from developing.

Drink up! Scientists claim hops, the flower that makes beer, contain a compound which fends of breast cancer

Researchers applied hops extract to two different breast cell lines to monitor its effect on the cells’ estrogen metabolism.

Slower estrogen metabolism has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.

As hoped, the researchers found one potent compound in hops – 6-prenylnarigenin, or 6-PN – increased the rate of estrogen metabolism, boosting a detoxification pathway in the cells.

‘We need to further explore this possibility, but our results suggest that 6-PN could have anti-cancer effects,’ lead research Professor Judy Bolton said.

6PN is a potent phytoestrogen in hops.

It binds to estrogen receptors when it is ingested, fueling the hormones’ activity.

The estrogenic activity of 6-PN is so high that female hop workers have even reported disruptions in their menstrual cycles.

Consequently, the flower has become a popular supplement for postmenopausal women, who suffer hot flushes, night sweating and insomnia as a result of dramatically slowed estrogen activity.

According to Professor Bolton, the teams’ research showed hops would be particularly effective to ward off breast cancer in women undergoing hormone replacement treatment (HRT) during menopause.

Hops also contain a similar compound called 8-prenylnarigenin (8-PN), but Professor Bolton’s study found it to have a less marked impact on the cells.

Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in women in the US.

One in eight American women will develop invasive breast cancer over their lifetime.

New hope? Slower estrogen metabolism has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. As hoped, the researchers found one potent compound in hops – called 6-PN – increased the rate of estrogen metabolism

The estrogenic activity in hops (pictured) is so high that female hop workers have even reported disruptions in their menstrual cycles

An estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 61,000 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer are expected in women in the US this year, according to the American Cancer Society.

However, since a landmark paper on HRT in 2002 sparked increased use of the treatment, the rate of diagnoses has decreased.

Women are advised to check themselves regularly and to get mammograms.

Eight key signs to look out for are swelling of all or part of the breast, skin irritation or dimpling breast pain, and nipple pain or the nipple turning inward.

Other symptoms include redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin, a nipple discharge other than breast milk, and a lump or constant pain in the underarm area.

source: Daily Mail

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