Love wine for its bouquet of health benefits? Try some beer too. According to researchers, a beer compound can protect brain cells from damage.
It can also potentially slow the development of disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
For this, Jianguo Fang from Lanzhou University's school of chemistry and colleagues found that one compound found in hops called xanthohumol has antioxidation, cardiovascular protection and anticancer properties.
Fang's team decided to test xanthohumol's effects on brain cells.
In lab tests, they found that the compound could protect neuronal cells and potentially help slow the development of brain disorders.
"Mounting evidence suggests that oxidative damage to neuronal cells contributes to the development of diseases that originate in the brain," said Fang.
If scientists could find a way to guard these cells from this type of damage, they might be able to help prevent or slow down Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.
According to the scientists, xanthohumol could be a good candidate for fighting such conditions.
The findings were reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.