Health Benefits Of Hops- All The Benefits You Need To Know!
There are numerous health benefits of hops that one needs to know apart from the fact that its flowers are used in beer brewing. The female flowers of this plant are used increasingly these days in the formation of various supplements used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and menopausal sytoms as well. Nature does play a significant role in improving all health conditions through these miraculous plants, right?
In addition to such brilliant usage and health benefits of hops, various researches done reveals that there are still many health benefits of hops that are still unknown and promising in nature.
If you do not know what are hops, you must know more about them today itself. Hops are female flowers of the plant hop or Humulus lupulus L. which is a climbing plant and belongs to the same family to which hemp belongs. It was originated in China, Mesopotamia (ancient civilization), Siberia, and the Caucasus. Later hop spread to America, Japan, and central Europe due to the enormous health benefits of hops.
It is important to note that 98% of the role of the hop is used in the beer brewing process. Nowadays people have started cultivating it in warmer regions as well. Different components present inside hop helps to add the bitter flavor beer has and prevent the growth of microorganisms during the process of brewing. It also helps to stabilize the foam.
Here are all the possible health benefits of hops that you need to know right now.
Health Benefits Of Hops
There is a scarcity of clinical trials and studies to get pieces of evidence of some of the health benefits of hops. Various components are not fully verified by FDA to be used for medicinal purposes. Further studies and research are required to determine whether they are efficient for long-term usage or not.
Nevertheless, extracts of hops are available as a supplement, regulations have set standards for this supplement but they do not guarantee there they are completely safe to be taken or not. On that note, let’s see what are health benefits of hops or what it has to offer.
1. Menopausal Symptoms
We all are familiar with some symptoms of menopause. It is the suspension of the menstrual cycle in females and it comes with a decline in female sex hormones which may cause several sytoms including:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- reduced sex drive
- loss of bone and muscles
- mood changes that lead to irritability and depression
- sleep disturbances
- night sweats
Both hops extract and the components it has like 8-prenylnaringenin were able to reduce these sytoms and improve their life quality. This was seen from 3 different trials conducted on nearly 200 menopausal women. In another pilot trial of 100 women, a gel prepared from hops extract was able to reduced symptoms like vaginal dryness. The Health benefits of hops are great for women undergoing all such painful sytoms and mood swings.
In several other studies conducted in female rats whose ovaries were taken out to mimic the sytoms of menopause and hormone deficiency that takes place with it, the component present inside hop and hops extract reduced the sytoms such as hot flashes, architecture parameters, increased sex drive and improved bone mass.
In a small trial comprising of 72 women, a morning/evening formula was given. In this, the morning formula had black cohosh, ginseng, soy, and green extracts, and the evening capsule comprised of black cohosh, kava, soy, valerian extracts, and hops. These were able to reduce several symptoms of menopause like sleep disturbances and hot flashes.
However, further clinical trials are still needed to affirm these facts and conclude more on all the trials and studies conducted.
2. Mood Disorders And Anxiety
In a trial including 36 people with slight or mild depression, anxiety, or stress, hops extracts were given. The results were pretty impressive as the hops extract was able to improve all the symptoms associate with these conditions.
A study was conducted on rats. Antidepressant activity and hop extracts were able to measure a reduction of time the rats usually spent on cylinders filled with water floating immobile. This might be due to their depression or stress.
However, this small trial in rats is not sufficient to claim that extracts of hops are enough for treating mood disorders. More clinical trials are still required on larger populations mainly on humans to know its effects.
In a small trial including only 17 people, one who consumed hops extract was able to see improvement in their sleep quality. They were given hops extract in non-alcoholic beer. Hops were known as the best and most used ingredient in this beer that was responsible for the good results the study gave.
Hops extract was also able to increase the sleeping time and were most probably able to reduce physical activity along with body temp. This was seen in mice and rats who were given sedatives.
In another study in quails, whose sleep and wake rhythms in quite the same as humans, a dosage of 2 mg hops extract was given and it was seen to be effective in reducing right activity along with preservation of normal circadian activity and rest rhythms.
There are many health benefits of hops extract as hops extract ae often mixed with valerian extract to tackle insomnia. In three different trials including over 250 people, this particular mixture or combination was really effective as compared to placebo. Two of the three studies had shown that this extract was more beneficial and effective than even valerian extract which was very popular for its effects.
Similarly, the combination prepared from purple passionflower, valerian, and hops was proven to be effective as the drug zolpidem in another trial conducted on 78 people facing insomnia conditions.
However, two different trials on nearly 250 people taking certain supplements with hops extracts did not show any effects on sleep quality. The quality of sleep was not improved with puts the researchers in dilemma.
The evidence given above is promising to a certain extent but few studies have shown negligible results after taking hops to extract so it difficult to predict whatsoever. Also, animal studies are not enough to predict the results. Many additional studies are required to affirm the results we have received from few studies mentioned here.
4. Metabolic Health And Weight Loss
In a trial conducted on 200 people who were healthy but overweight, using hops extract helped them reduce their body weight and fat mainly in their belly. Both hops extract and various components present inside it like iso-alpha and xanthohumol were able to reduce body weight in several studies in overweight rats and mice.
Not only this, xanthohumol was able to reduce the development, fat accumulation, and growth of fat cells while increasing the death rate of such cells that leads to fat.
When hops extract was combined with Isohumulous and acacia proanthocyanidins, both were able to improve several sytoms of syndromes related to metabolic health. Health benefits of hops extract along with some changes in diet and physical exercises were able to reduce weight. It also helped decrease blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in 23 people who joined the study. This combination also reduced levels of insulin while increasing sensitivity to insulin in other trials including 91 people.
Although the results are quite promising, to begin with, still more clinical researchers are required to confirm all these health benefits of hops on metabolic health and weight loss.
5. Dental Health
In 2 other small trials conducted on 57 people, hops polyphenols were taken either as tablets or as a mouth rinse. Both were able to reduce the growth of dental plaque. Hops polyphenols were also able to show a reduction in the capacity of two different bacteria species to cause cavities including streptococcus mutans and streptococcus sobrinus.
Two studies were conducted on human gum cells as well. It was observed that hops polyphenols were able to clock the responses triggered by microbe causing gum diseases which are porphyromonas gingivalis.
Two small trials and studies in animals indicate that it can be potentially beneficial to dental health but the studies are however not sufficient as other health benefits of hops we have seen till now. The pieces of evidence are not sufficient to consider the health benefits of hops on gums, more human trials are needed for confirmation.
A clinical trial that included 39 people approximately with allergic reactions to pollens was invited. It was seen that hops extra was able to reduce the swelling pollen caused on their nose due to allergic reactions. Other than this, improvement in nose color, discharge characteristics, and discharge amount was also observed. In health benefits of hops are proven to be effective for allergies through more studies it would be great as allergies do not have more reliable treatments and may people consider them to go away on their own.
Also, in mice having allergies to pollen or dust, it was seen that after taking hops extract, sneezing and rubbing of nose stopped or lessened. The extract was also able to reduce the release of histamine from the mast cells, basophils, and cancer cells indicating hops extract to be useful.
A study in human nose cells was also conducted in which hops extract was able to reduce the production of cytokines that are known for activating allergic inflammatory responses or TSLP.
Very few studies have suggested using hops for allergies so further clinical trials are mandatory to confirm its usage for allergic reactions.
7. Heart Health Improvement
In a small trial including just 23 people, hops isohumulones were able to improve the flow of blood both in people who did not smoke and those who smoked regularly.
In two separate studies in mice, xanthohumol was able to prevent and reverse the buildup or accumulation of cholesterol plaque and triglycerides inside the arteries.
In rats, taking hops extract was able to relax the blood vessels which might contribute to a reduction in heart disease risks. After many injuries, the blood vessels can be narrowed from the linin cell growth and may lead to heart disease. Taking xanthohumol inside hops extract was able to decrease such effects.
As you already know xanthohumol inhibits certain platelet activity which may reduce the risk of blood clotting or formation of blood clots also known as thrombosis. Further research is needed on humans to know more about the effects of hops in terms of protecting our hearts.
8. Blood Sugar Balance
In a small trial including 20 people having diabetes, hops isohumulones were able to reduce blood sugar levels. In other studies including mice or rats, the components of hop extracts like xanthohumol and isohumulones or a mixture of these two along with acacia proanthocyanidins were able to reduce the levels of blood sugar and insulin resistance.
Once again, these health benefits of hops extracts are not supported by many researchers, only a few are there to claim them hence more studies are needed.
9. Deodrant Or Odor Removal
The Health benefits of hops are not only limited to the internal organs of our body, but they can also be useful as a great odor-reducing product too. In a small trial that used 42 people, the extract of hops was mixed with an odor absorbent agent that is present commercially in deodorants. It was seen that the mix was able to reduce the underarm odor caused due to two bacterias named Corynebacterium xerosis and staphylococcus epidermis.
Additional clinical trials will be able to confirm the results soon.
10. Helps With Inflammation And Pain
The Health benefits of hops have been great for reducing inflammation and pain that comes with it. When hops were combined with rosemary extract, isohumulones, and oleanolic acid, it was observed that these 3 comments worked well to reduce pain caused by the condition named arthritis in a simple and small trial containing 52 people. Not only arthritis, but it was also useful against fibromyalgia.
However, 52 people alone cannot decide whether it’s suitable and effective for pain or not. A large population should be there to conduct and participate in the trials so that results can be confirmed. Also, several extracts were used in this trial so it is hard to say which one was proved to be more beneficial.
11. Liver Damage
In few studies conducted on mice, hops and their components like isohumulones and xanthohumol were impressive for their effects against diseases caused in the liver such as alcoholic fatty liver diseases, tissue scarring in reaction to damage in the liver, oxidative damage, cell death, and inflation associated with the aging process, and non-alcoholic fatty acid liver disorder. These health benefits of hops make them important to consume if more studies reveal the results.
Three components present in hops were able to showcase the health benefits of hops in keeping the liver cells in good condition rather than being inflamed, These components were humulones, lupulones, and xanthohumol.
12. Helps With Digestion
The Health benefits of hops are also associated with digestion. Rats given hops extract were able to increase stomach juice production without undergoing any changes in their acidic levels. In other studies, hops extract was able to reduce small bowel movements. Such health benefits of hops should be given more priority and major studies should be conducted.
In a study conducted on pigs, dietary hops were given. They worked by increasing weight per feed. The new diet provided did not have many effects on its more
pathology or digestibility, but it was able to change the composition of gut microbes present and thus reduced the production of new inflammatory proteins.
Studies in humans are required to confirm that the results will be the same in us too.
13. Healthy Skin
The Health benefits of hops are reliable for the skin too. The intake of hops with useful components present inside of it was able to reduce inflammation in the skin. This was noted from a study conducted on mice having contact allergic dermatitis and mite-induced dermatitis.
In another antimicrobial study, the components in hops were able to reduce the growth of five microbes responsible for causing acne. Hops compounds were able to block the activities of bacteria causing acne. Mice that took hops to extract experienced a reduction in the symptoms that comes with dermatitis. But this study is still to be depicted on humans.
14. Neurodegenerative disease
The Health benefits of hops extract were beneficial for the brain as well. It was to reduce damage in the brain and maintain the healthy function of the brain in rats recovering from brain stroke or those that were poisoned using aluminum nitrate. Also, when taken in long term, hops extract reduced the accumulation or buildup of a protein called beta-amyloid in the onset of Alzheimer’s. It was considered a preventive therapeutic candidate for Alzheimer’s diseases.
Xanthohumol present in hops was able to protect the cells in the brain from oxidative damage and inflammation. This suggests that hops have therapeutic potential against neurodegenerative diseases.
The results of all studies conducted just need to be repeated with a large population to confirm the results revealed from these studies.
15. Infectious Diseases
Hops extracts and essential oils inhibited:
- Klebsiella oxytoca
- salmonella Typhimurium
- salmonella enteritidis
The main components inside hops having antimicrobial properties are lupulone, humulone, and xanthohumol. They are reported to inhibit the following:
- Bacterias that are responsible for causing diarrhea
- Antibiotic-resistant strains
- Bacteria that might lead to food poisoning
The Health Benefits of Hops is tremendous as it can kill a certain virus as well due to its properties. In many cell studies, hops extract and the compounds present in it were able to inhibit:
- Influenza A virus
- Herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2
The Health Benefits of Hops and component xanthohumol seem to enhance the activity of IFN-alpha against a cow virus. This virus was quite similar to hepatitis c virus and xanthohumol, this might be used to form a new therapy against it. This component was also able to reduce the replication of HIV and the production of a new virus. For such results, it is also under investigation as a new treatment against the HIV.
Several components of hops were also known to be effective against parasites causing malaria and other similar diseases.
In a study involving 5 different components of hops. These components were tested against different pathogens of fungus and hop components were found to be effective against all such pathogens and helps reduced their activity.
These were 15 important health benefits of hops that one must know to use them.