Got a cold? Have a beer

7th January, 2013 by Euan McKirdy

Sapporo Breweries-backed study shows that beer contains chemicals that could counter colds

A cure for what ails you?

A cure for what ails you?

As the majority of us continue to trudge through the cold, virus-heavy winter months, sniffling and sneezing, a warm ray of hope shines out from Japan.

Sapporo Breweries, one of the country’s oldest beer makers, funded a study that has discovered that hops – one of beer’s primary ingredients – contain a chemical that could counter the virus that causes cold-like symptoms.

The study was conducted by researchers at Sapporo Medical University – the brewery also has its origins in the capital city of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost isle – and concluded that the compound, known as humulone, was effective in curbing the respiratory syncytial (RS) virus. The same virus also can cause bronchitis and pneumonia in children. “The RS virus can cause serious pneumonia and breathing difficulties for infants and toddlers, but no vaccination is available at the moment to contain it,” Jun Fuchimoto, a researcher from the company, told AFP.

The compound also relieves inflammation caused by infection from the virus, the researchers found.

But before you crack open a can of Sapporo in celebration – or perhaps self-medication – you should know there’s a catch. The chemical isn’t present in beer in very significant quantities, meaning that in order to have any real effect, the afflicted would have to drink around 30 cans of beer to gain any real benefit.

And clearly the calorific and intoxication consequences would outweigh the benefits of the dose. The researchers now say it’s a case of using this discovery to isolate the compound and use it as a health-giving additive to other foodstuffs or beverages.

“We are now studying the feasibility of applying humulone to food or non-alcoholic products,” Fuchimoto said. “The challenge really is that the bitter taste is going to be difficult for children.”

One Response to “Got a cold? Have a beer”

  1. Stan Schubridge says:

    Thank you! I didn’t need another reason to drink a beer. But, you gave me a great one. I feel a cold coming on now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Sales Account Manager

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London, UK

Area Sales Manager

Bon Coeur Fine Wines
North England, UK

Procurement Assistant – Wine

Adnams PLC
Southwold, UK

Account Manager Central London

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Brand Ambassador

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire, UK

Marketing Manager

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Regional Sales Manager – Scotland

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Sales Manager – London On-Trade

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Customer Service & Sales Support Executive

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Market Insight Analyst

Conviviality PLC
London, UK

Technical Manager

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Click to view more