Study Shows Beer Cures What Ails You


I’ve been nursing a brutally bad back since Monday, when it decided to go out without provocation or reason.  I’ve also had a head cold, which is just an AWESOME thing to have when your spine is resting against the nerves in your lower back.




I took some muscle relaxers and they helped, but they totally spaced me out for a day and a half, so I decided to switch to beer.  Not only does beer taste better, it works just about as well as the pills and doesn’t have the same space cadet effect that cyclobenzaprine has on me.

What I didn’t know is that beer might help with my cold as well.  That’s beer for you – always overachieving! 

The study, commissioned (unsurprisingly) by Japan’s Sapporo Brewery, discovered that a compound found in hops may have virus fighting powers:

In research with scientists at Sapporo Medical University, the compound — humulone — was found to be effective in curbing the respiratory syncytial (RS) virus, said the company, which funded the study.

“The RS virus can cause serious pneumonia and breathing difficulties for infants and toddlers, but no vaccination is available at the moment to contain it,” said Jun Fuchimoto, a researcher from the company.

The virus tends to spread in winter and can also cause cold-like symptoms in adults.

Fuchimoto said such small quantities of humulone were present in beer that someone would have to drink around 30 cans, each of 350 millilitres (12 oz), for it to have any virus-fighting effect.

Okay, so you have to drink 30 cans of Sapporo to get the positive effects, but how many glassfuls of this or this would you need to see a benefit?  Two?  Three?  Eleventy?

I’m not sure, but I think I’m going to find out this weekend.  🙂

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Categories: Beer, News


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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15 Comments on “Study Shows Beer Cures What Ails You”

  1. Jeff Schwartz
    December 7, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    Sorry to hear about your back…mine reminds me who is charge about 2 or 3 times a year. I find a nice glass of whisky can be helpful as well 🙂

    • December 7, 2012 at 11:40 am #

      Yes, whisk(e)y helps, but sometimes too much!

      On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 11:37 AM, Beer & Whiskey Bros.

  2. Diss Content
    December 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    It has been my experience that any doctor and many women, will diagnose the root cause of whatever ails you, as what you enjoy most.

    Got a sore back, well it must be from that fishing trip you took last week with your friends, according to the wife. This said while overlooking the furniture you moved for her yesterday.

    The good doctor will ask a series of questions like: Do you drink? Gamble? Ride motorcycles? Patronize gentlemen’s clubs? Watch sports on TV? Then before you can finish answering, he will have them diagnosed as culprits and hand you a prescription form.

    So it’s time to fight their bias head on. Ask the wife about her mother, then during her answer clutch your back and writhe in pain. Do it five or six times to make the point. Apologize and change the subject to her hair, nails or nemesis at work, but make sure to ‘act’ like you can’t stand hearing about them, so she will associate your pain with those subjects.

    Next is the doctor. Tell him you might have hurt your back somewhere between eating raw vegetables and doing some cardio exercises. Add how the only other thing you like to do is read about the former every chance you get, to drive the point home.

    This of course will result in the wife still blaming the fishing trips and the doctor saying you drink too much beer. Oh who am I kidding? It’s an eternal quixotic battle which I don’t want to fight, but remain garrisoned in the Alamo of beer, with the institution of marriage and the medical profession, being a constant Army of Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana on the horizon. I know I’m defeated and don’t have a chance, but I continue to fight in spite of the overwhelming forces and their constant taunts with some medical ‘El Deguello’.

    The Sapporo report serves as a shot in the right direction, and will rally the troops to shake their… shakers at the perpetual enemy of beer, freedom and puppies; disguised as doctors and spouses. But even with such a fine study to back up what we hold to be ‘self evident’, the outcome is predestined.

    So forget about all that can’t be changed and find a comfortable position to nurse yourself, and a few beers.

    • December 7, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

      I ALWAYS have a pained look on my face when my wife talks about her nemesis at work, so I guess I’m doing it right!

      On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 12:33 PM, Beer & Whiskey Bros.

  3. Wendi
    December 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    ” can cause serious pneumonia and breathing difficulties for infants and toddlers”
    Last time I looked you were slightly better using your words than an infant and certainly taller than a toddler….but bottoms up Jim!

    • December 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

      Only slightly, Wee. 🙂

      And there’s a thing in there about adults benefiting as well – if not, I would’ve made this a “kids need beer” post!

      On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 1:04 PM, Beer & Whiskey Bros.

  4. tallfellapgh
    December 7, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Sounds like the perfect opportunity to review (sample) some high %ABV craft beers. The high alcohol will work to relieve pain and act as a sleep inducement (self-medicate).

    Beer contains numerous minerals & supplements to augment your diet (healthy). And as we all known, illness is accompanied by dehydration, so… DRINK MORE BEER!!!

    • December 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

      The N.A.E.B.H.* agrees!

      * National Association for Enabling Bad Habits

      On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 1:21 PM, Beer & Whiskey Bros.

  5. John
    December 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    “Honey levteh me-ah-lone. I’mza fightin a cold. Da slurring is-is a side efwect of my medicaaation.”

    • December 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

      Azz izz mi aghree-ible dizposishun…

  6. December 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Funny, my spouse never says anything–she just gives me “the eye”.

    As for hops, and by extension beer, being good for you, you’ve already established that in several previous posts. Add to the goodies in the hops the health-promoting benefits of moderate (24 oz of beer per day for men, 12 for women–sorry ladies) consumption of alcohol, plus all the vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes in real beer and you have a combo that can’t be beat. (Besides, I have it on good authority (my tee-totaling aunt) that there’s no beer in the afterllfe, so we better enjoy it while we can.)

    To quote a great (though anonymous) philosopher:
    “I’ve a few good reasons for drinking.
    And one has just entered my head.
    If a man can’t drink when he’s living.
    How the hell can he drink when he’s dead?”

    • December 7, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

      I wonder how many of these same benefits are to be found in hops’ now-legal-in-WA cousin…

    • December 7, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

      I get The Eye also from the Wife, God I hate The Eye!

  7. December 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    I knew there was a reason I liked hoppy beers – better immune system!

    Hope your back gets better Jim, I know it’s the worst. I never had to worry about my back until a few years ago, and then Blam! Just look at it wrong and it hurts.

  8. December 19, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    I knew it! A good night out always seems to chase the ishiness away when I feel a cold coming on. Now there’s scientific proof.

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