Compounds from hops may combat metabolic syndrome by changing the gut microbiome and altering the metabolism of acids produced in the liver, new research at Oregon State University suggests.
The findings, published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, are a key advance in understanding how xanthohumol, a compound that contributes to hops’ flavor, and its derivatives work. That is an important step toward improving the lives of the estimated 35 percent of U.S. adults who suffer from metabolic syndrome.
The study, led by PhD candidate Mr. Yang Zhang, builds on earlier research at OSU that found xanthohumol, often abbreviated to XN, and two hydrogenated derivatives, DXN and TXN, can likely improve cognitive and other functions in people with the syndrome.
People are considered to have metabolic syndrome if they have at least two of the following conditions: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low levels of “good” cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides.
A diet high in saturated fat and refined sugars causes chronic low-grade inflammation that contributes to the development of metabolic syndrome; the syndrome is associated with cognitive dysfunction and dementia as well as being a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.
In the previous study, testing in a mouse model showed that XN, DXN and TXN improve glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and sensitivity to leptin – a hormone that tells you to feel full when you have eaten enough and also helps regulate energy expenditure. All of these changes are thought to be beneficial in the fight against metabolic syndrome.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on January 17