Lately I've seen news like this saying that drinking beer could prevent Alzheimer's disease. On the other hand, the alzheimers.net website lists beer as one of many things that can actually increase the risk of getting it and advises to remove beer from elders' diets.

So, is drinking an advisable thing to do in order to avoid these diseases?

  • 1
    To be clear, that says that one of the compounds in hops might help prevent it. That could be true and still be outweighed by negative effects of beer as a whole.
    – Is Begot
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 20:22
  • Thanks for the clarification, I'll reword the question a bit (since these news websites are making drinking beer sound like a wise thing to do, while alzheimers.net says to remove beer from one's diet)
    – William
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 20:28
  • this goes hand in hand with alot of other articles recently showing the benefits of wine, beer, and alcohol in general, though stipulated of course in "moderation".
    – Himarm
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 21:00

1 Answer 1


During brewing, an ingredient called hops is added to the beer that gives a bitter and tangy taste to it. One compound found in hops, called xanthohumol, has received the attention of researchers for its potential benefits, including antioxidation, cardiovascular protection and anticancer properties.

Mounting evidence suggests that oxidative damage to neuronal cells contributes to the development of diseases that originate in the brain. If these cells are guarded from oxidative damage, they might be able to help prevent or slow down Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

Fang et al. (2015) tested xanthohumol’s effects on brain cells. In lab tests, the researchers found that the compound might protect neuronal cells and potentially help slow the development of brain disorders. The scientists have concluded that xanthohumol could be a good candidate for fighting such neurodegenerative conditions.

The author further explains in his paper that

Xanthohumol (2′,4′,4-trihydroxy-6′-methoxy-3′-prenylchalcone, Xn), a polyphenol chalcone from hops (Humulus lupulus), has received increasing attention due to its multiple pharmacological activities. As an active component in beers, its presence has been suggested to be linked to the epidemiological observation of the beneficial effect of regular beer drinking. Our results demonstrate that Xn is a novel small-molecule activator of Nrf2 in neuronal cells and suggest that Xn might be a potential candidate for the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders.

However more studies are needed, first in animal models and then in humans regarding the molecule Xanthohumol to confirm that drinking beer helps to prevent Alzheimer/Parkinson diseases.

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