Study: Beer ingredient boosted cognitive function in younger test subjects, not older ones

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Xanthohumol, a flavonoid found in hops and beer, increased critical thinking skills in young mice but not in older ones, according to a new study.

The study at Oregon State University showed that for young mice, the compound enhanced cognitive flexibility.  

“Xanthohumol can speed the metabolism, reduce fatty acids in the liver and, at least with young mice, appeared to improved their cognitive flexibility, or higher level thinking,” said Daniel Zamzow, Ph.D., a former OSU doctoral student who is now at University of Wisconsin/Rock County. “Unfortunately it did not reduce palmitoylation in older mice, or improve their learning or cognitive performance, at least in the amounts of the compound we gave them.”

Researchers also noted that the levels of xanthohumol in the study would only be possible in supplements, or by a human drinking 2,000 liters of beer a day.

Results were published in Behavioral Brain Research.