If you need an extra excuse to justify downing a few beers at your Super Bowl party this weekend, here's a good one: apparently beer is good for you. No actually, science says so. Who knew!
According to a paper published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a compound found in hops (and thus in beer) called xanthohumol turns out to have all sorts of awesome benefits. It does good things for your cardio-vascular system, it has anti-cancer properties, and it's good for you brain. Let me repeat that. There is something in beer that is good for your brain. Tell that to the next person who tells you that your drinking is killing off your brain cells.
Apparently xanthohumol is specifically really good at reducing what is called oxidative stress, which is caused when the body starts producing too many of a certain type of atoms called free radicals and is unable to deal with them properly. Xanthohumol, which has anti-oxidative properties, is able to combat free radicals, and thus prevent them from doing damage to various parts of the body, including the type of neurological degradation that can eventually cause Alzheimer's.
Like I said, drinking beer is good for your brain. (Though alcohol can still contribute to memory loss in the elderly. Don't drink if you're already old, guys.)
But the fact remains that drinking beer still has actual health benefits. This is fantastic news! Think how much better you already feel about all those keggers and baseball games and nights at the bar and pretentious hipster parties you didn't want to go to but at least the hipsters had beer, right? Think about how much better you can feel about the Super Bowl this weekend.
Of course it might be a little premature to celebrate just yet. After all, the study found that xanthohumol does have all of these benefits...but they were only testing on rats. The effects for humans could very well be very different. Seeing as how, you know, we're humans.
Still, they use lab rats for a reason, right? So I'm going to call this one a win for beer drinkers. Drink on, my friends, drink on!
(But still drink responsibly. Obviously.)