A key ingredient in beer could be used as medicine to fight disease. Hops, found in the alcoholic beverage which gives it its bitter taste, are surprisingly helpful to halt bacterial growth and disease.
University of Idaho researchers are closing in on synthesizing the healthy hop compounds.
The compounds lupulones and humulones are of particular interest to the researchers, with the latter having anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers are striving to extract the compounds and find a way of creating them in the lab.
Undergraduate student Lucas Sass has admitted the process has “been a lot of trial and error.” But researchers are getting ‘very close to optimising the complete method for producing humulones in the lab.’
The research team led by Kristopher Waynant, Ph.D plan to collaborate with biologists and medical researchers to develop active agents for pharmaceuticals to treat cancers or inflammatory diseases from these beer-inspired compounds.
The findings are due to be presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.