Beer The New Natural Menopause Treatment

Beer The New Natural Menopause Treatment

Whilst it​ may seem far fetched to​ think of​ beer as​ a​ natural menopause treatment, there is​ actually credible scientific research to​ support it. the​ key feature of​ beer in​ relation to​ menopause is​ the​ presence of​ phytoestrogens.

Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like plant compounds that are also in​ alternative menopause treatments like soy. They work by binding to​ estrogen receptors, and​ so provide a​ mild estrogenic effect on the​ body. Phytoestrogens are not as​ strong as​ regular estrogen, but as​ estrogen levels decline in​ menopausal women, this boost of​ estrogen has a​ balancing effect on the​ body. Supplementing with phytoestrogens in​ soy and​ hops (which is​ made into beer, but can be purchased as​ a​ supplement), can alleviate hot flushes and​ improve the​ general quality of​ life for​ women during menopause.

Hops has more typically been used by herbalists for​ its mild sedative effect. It's great for​ sleeping problems, and​ also for​ nervous gastrointestinal and​ stomach problems. it​ is​ stimulating to​ the​ stomach, and​ has been used for​ anorexia, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, dysmenorrhoea and​ amenorrhoea.

Hops has long been suspected of​ having an​ effect on the​ hormonal system. Before the​ advent of​ machine pickers, women and​ girls picked the​ plants at​ harvest, and​ would often spend 3 weeks doing so. it​ was observed amongst the​ young girls picking hops that their menstrual periods would come on early. But it​ wasn't until hops was studied scientifically that this result was explained and​ validated. it​ turns out that hops contains very high levels of​ phytoestrogens - between 30,000 IU to​ 300,000 IU per 100 grams. the​ levels of​ phytoestrogens are highest when the​ plant is​ fresh.

The phytoestrogen in​ hops is​ called 8-prenylnaringenin (8PN), and​ is​ stronger than other estrogens studied so far. it​ is​ present in​ beer, but levels are low compared to​ levels in​ plant extracts.

8-prenylnaringenin (8PN) is​ a​ flavone. it​ has been found in​ the​ animal model to​ have milder but similar effects to​ estradiol. the​ hops flavone also had a​ stimulating effect on the​ uterus in​ this study (on animals). it​ has not been established if​ this effect is​ also present in​ women taking hops. if​ so, progestins, or​ natural progesterone, would need to​ be taken at​ the​ same time to​ prevent overstimulation of​ the​ endometrial tissue.

Czech scientists have developed this research by using a​ new technology to​ create a​ non-alcoholic beer that contains the​ same amounts of​ hops and​ malt as​ regular beer. No mention was made at​ this stage as​ to​ whether the​ menopause beer would have higher levels of​ phytoestrogens. the​ idea came about because the​ Czech Republic is​ a​ strong beer drinking nation, and​ menopausal women there had low levels of​ estrogen in​ their diet. the​ menopause beer is​ aimed at​ relieving the​ symptoms of​ menopause and​ improving bone density.

Scientists have also found hops to​ have an​ anti-inflammatory effect. Compounds in​ hops have an​ effect similar to​ regular pain killers like ibuprofen, but with less of​ a​ disturbing impact on the​ gastrointestinal system. These active constituents of​ hops work in​ the​ same way as​ the​ arthritis drugs vioxx and​ celebrex, in​ that they are COX-2 inhibitors.

Hops is​ also an​ antioxidant, it​ may reduce insulin resistance, and​ is​ being investigated for​ its potential anti tumor properties. Hops was found to​ inhibit the​ growth of​ breast cancer cells 'in vitro', or​ in​ the​ lab, paving the​ way for​ further studies to​ be done. Hops should not be taken by people with depression however, according to​ traditional herbalists.

3. R Weiss, Herbal Medicine
4. Fisher and​ Painter, Materia Medica of​ Western Herbs

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