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article imageTackling blood sugar and cholesterol with hop compound

By Tim Sandle     Apr 27, 2016 in Health
A chemical substance derived from hops appears to be effective at lowering cholesterol and re-balancing blood sugar levels. The overall effect also controls weight gain.
Researchers have discovered that xanthohumol, a natural flavonoid found in hops, has some properties that could be exploited to address a range of metabolic syndrome conditions (such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.) In addition, there is also a loss of weight associated with taking the substance. To date these effects have been seen with test animals and it appears that the amount of xanthohumol needs to be very precise.
Xanthohumol naturally occurs in hops and beer. However, the levels used in the research were far higher than could be gained from a standard dietary intake.
With the study, mice were fed a high fat diet and then divided into two groups. One group received varying levels of xanthohumol and the other group a placebo. Upon analysis, it was found that the group of mice given the highest level of xanthohumol saw their cholesterol levels fall by 80 percent and their insulin levels plummet by 42 percent. In addition, a bio-marker for inflammation, called interleukin-6 fell by 78 percent.
As to why this happens, it would appear that xanthohumol lowers levels of a specific protein called PCSK9 in blood plasma. This protein has been previously shown to be connected with higher cholesterol levels.
When a group of mice were continually fed a high-fat diet, and where half were given xanthohumol it was observed that the mice with the xanthohumol enriched diet saw 22 percent less weight gain. Here it is speculated that xanthohumol raises the metabolic rate in mice, thereby contributing to a lower weight gain.
It is hoped that further research will lead to a therapeutic compound that could help to address human obesity and associated metabolic side effects related to higher blood sugar levels and the health risks linked to high cholesterol levels.
Speaking with Laboratory Roots, lead researcher Professor Cristobal Miranda stated: “Work is still needed to further demonstrate the safety of high doses of xanthohumol, but dosages 15-30 times higher than we used have already been given to animals with no apparent problem.”
The study was undertaken at Oregon State University. The research has been published in the journal Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. The article is titled “Xanthohumol improves dysfunctional glucose and lipid metabolism in diet-induced obese C57BL/6J mice.”
More about low cholesterol, Cholesterol, Hops, Blood sugar
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