To Ward Off Winter Sniffles, Drink Beer?

December 10, 2012
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To Ward Off Winter Sniffles, Drink Beer?

The good news: Beer can actually fight off a virus that causes pneumonia. The bad news: The virus hits those not yet of drinking age the hardest ... and they'd have to down five six-packs to reap the benefits. Citing a study by Sapporo Medical University, Japan's Sapporo Breweries yesterday announced that the chemical compound humulone—found in key beer ingredient hops—gives beer its bitter taste and protects against the respiratory syncytial virus, reports the AFP. That virus can "cause serious pneumonia and breathing difficulties for infants and toddlers." Infected adults experience less serious cold-like symptoms. Unfortunately, there isn't a ton of humulone in beer, so you'd have to drink around 30 cans to get any virus-fighting benefits. But scientists say they hope to use the discovery to make non-alcoholic products for children.

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