Beer And Tobacco Are Kinda Good For You

By Brian Lemay No comments

Can Smoking tobacco and Drinking beer actually
be … good for you? Hey Everyone, Crystal here for DNews. I think
your mother and your doctor would both agree that smoking and drinking are not healthy
habits. Something about lung cancer and cirrhosis of the liver, I dunno … but both tobacco
and hops have a healthy little secret. They contain a high concentration of compounds
that may help protect your brain cells against neurodegenerative disease. Both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease
are major health concerns in the US. These diseases are characterized by degeneration
of neurons in the brain. and no small neurodegeneration mind you, at the point that Parkinson’s
Disease is usually diagnosed over 50% of the dopaminergic neurons in the brain’s substantia
nigra region are already gone. Research is currently being done to understand how we
can best interfere with the progression of these diseases, and many a pharmaceutical
company is hoping to develop drugs that don’t just treat the symptoms but that can actually
protect our brains from cell death. Ironically, some of the most promising compounds
being discovered are found in some pretty unhealthy places. Smoking continues to be
a leading cause of preventable death worldwide, but nicotine, the addictive component found
in tobacco smoke may have neuroprotective properties! And trials are being performed
to investigate the inverse correlation between smoking and Parkinson’s Disease. Weird right?
If you’ve ever smoked a conventional cigarette, you’ve lowered your risk for developing
Parkinson’s. A recent article published in the Journal
of Agricultural and Food Chemistry identified another compound found in beer, Xanthohumol,
as being potentially neuroprotective. When scientists challenged neuron-like cells grown
in a dish with destructive oxidizers like peroxide, over 60% of the cells died. But
when the cells were pre-treated with xanthohumol, they showed 25% more viability than the cells
not pre-treated. The researchers were also able to demonstrate that this was due to an
increase in the cell’s ability to defend itself against stress, and not due to direct
interactions between xanthohumol and the oxidizing agent. Xanthohumol is emerging as something of a
cureall antioxidant and it has already attracted attention due to its role in cardiovascular
protection, as well as its anticancer, antiviral, anti obesity, and anti-inflammation properties.
And right now, high (micromolar) concentrations of the compound has only been found in beer. So hoppy beers and nicotine might be good
for your brain, but be careful to stay on the lower end of exposure. Cancer, heart and
liver disease are a poor exchange for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. And because I know some of
you are going to ask: no, the two won’t cancel each other out! No amount of “anti-cancer”
and “cardiovascular protection” beer drinking will prevent the development of heart disease
and lung cancer if you smoke like a chimney. What do you think? Is your lifestyle helping
or hurting your brain?

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