Hanging out with friends and family this time of year can be a roll of the dice, as the nation continues to battle epidemic levels of influenza and, of course, the common cold. And while such pathogens won’t survive in beer, sharing glassware or bar food with sniffly friends could easily lead to infection (pro-tip: don’t share; wash your hands constantly). And don’t let the fear of flu keep you from enjoying a good craft beer. According to recent studies, moderate beer consumption can actually be good for the health of adults.
According to AFP (Agence France-Presse), results of recent medical tests in Japan show that ingesting large amounts of humulone, the key ingredient in hops (which give beer aroma and bitterness), might help fend off a form of seasonal sickness in adults, specifically “RS”, or Respiratory Syncytial virus, which can lead to severe forms of pneumonia and bronchitis in children. We’ll note loud and clear here that the test itself was commissioned by Sapporo Breweries through Sapporo Medical University, which in turn points out it would take about thirty cans at once to achieve an effective dose, which, of course, could kill you six ways to Sunday (don’t try it). Nevertheless we’ll raise a salutary glass in hopes that further medical testing confirms that hops are indeed the happiest, healthiest plant. They certainly lead to great beers like the classic India Pale Ale, or IPA. And we already have warm fuzzies about stout beers and general well-being. In the meantime, take solace in this Time magazine article outlining several other health benefits to beer, from healthier blood and bones to the lungs, skin, hair, and even brain.