Study Suggests That A Bracing Regimen Of Beer Could Ward Off The Winter Sniffles

If you want to keep winter colds at bay and also enjoy a nice, hoppy beer, well, you’re a lucky person. A new study by scientists at Sapporo Medical University (and sponsored by the Sapporo brewery, natch) says a key ingredient in beer can ward off colds in adults. Beyond that, if it weren’t for that whole “underage” thing, the stuff is reportedly effective in blocking a virus that causes pneumonia and bronchitis in young children.

You’ll have to consume large quantities, says the study, in order to get enough of the ingredient that curbs respiratory syncytial virus. Humulone is the magic ingredient in hops, but since kids shouldn’t be guzzling booze, scientists say they have more work to do.

“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 a researcher from the company, via AFP.

Winter is the prime time for spreading the virus, which simply causes cold-like symptoms in adults. You’d have to gulp down about 30 cans of beer to get enough humulone to have any effect against the virus. So that’s probably too much for you know, a person who doesn’t want to do some serious damage.

Scientists add that they’re currently trying to figure out if they can add humulone to other foods or non-alcoholic beverages to get the same effect. It’ll be tough, as the bitter flavor of hops is quite enjoyable to many adults, but not so much to the little ones.

I will take this as proof that drinking while I’m sick really is good for me. Alcohol kills germs, I always say (and I’m always wrong).

Beer is good for you: study finds anti-virus powers [AFP]