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Beer May Help Fight Cold Virus

Beer May Help Fight Cold Virus
Flickr/Varin Tsai

Instead of reaching for that box of Kleenex, maybe you should grab a six-pack.

According to a new study, beer has anti-viral properties, being particularly effective against the respiratory syncytial (RS) virus, which can cause pneumonia and bronchitis in young children and symptoms similar to the common cold in adults, Agence-France Presse reports. The research also found that humulone alleviated inflammation caused by infection from the virus.

A couple of caveats: The study was sponsored by Sapporo Breweries, the Japanese beer company, carried out by researchers at Sapporo Medical University. And it is not the beer itself that contains the anti-viral properties, but a chemical compound in the hops in the beer, called humulone.

Only small amounts of humulone are found in beer--researchers say a person would have to drink about 30 12 oz. cans of even the hoppiest IPA to benefit from the anti-virus effect.

And, hops has been know for it's medicinal qualities for, oh, centuries.

Plus, beer poses many more health hazards than its hops can compensate for, such as heartburn, weight gain, dehydration and a smorgasbord of other physical and social hazards.

Cognizant of all that, Sapporo is now investigating creating humulone-containing food and non-alcoholic beverages that both adults and children can consume.

"The challenge really is that the bitter taste is going to be difficult for children," said Jun Fuchimoto, a researcher with the company.

Suggestion: Beer candy.


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