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Beer and Menopause

Posted by Maggie on May 8, 2010

There is some evidence that drinking beer can help relieve the symptoms of menopause.   This article discussed how the hops in beer are helpful.

http://www.healthstatus.com/health_blog/2010/03/16/beer-the-natural-menopause-treatment/

March 16, 2010

Beer – The Natural Menopause Treatment

Whilst it may seem farfetched to think of beer as a natural menopause treatment, there is actually credible scientific research to support it. The key feature of beer in relation to menopause is the presence of phytoestrogens.

Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like plant compounds that are also in alternative menopause treatments like soy. They work by binding to estrogen receptors, and so provide a mild estrogenic effect on the body. Phytoestrogens are not as strong as regular estrogen, but as estrogen levels decline in menopausal women, this boost of estrogen has a balancing effect on the body. Supplementing with phytoestrogens in soy and hops (which is made into beer, but can be purchased as a supplement), can alleviate hot flushes and improve the general quality of life for women during menopause.

Hops have more typically been used by herbalists for its mild sedative effect. It’s great for sleeping problems, and also for nervous gastrointestinal and stomach problems. It is stimulating to the stomach, and has been used for anorexia, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, dysmenorrhoea and amenorrhoea.

Hops have long been suspected of having an effect on the hormonal system. Before the advent of machine pickers, women and girls picked the plants at harvest, and would often spend 3 weeks doing so. It was observed amongst the young girls picking hops that their menstrual periods would come on early. But it wasn’t until hops were studied scientifically that this result was explained and validated. It turns out that hops contain very high levels of phytoestrogens – between 30,000 IU to 300,000 IU per 100 grams. The levels of phytoestrogens are highest when the plant is fresh.

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