Researchers at the University of Japan, drinking a glass of beer daily appears to protect against colon cancer -- at least in laboratory rats. They found that it is the ingredients in beer, not the alcohol content, that offers protection against colon cancer.
Hajime Nozawa, a researcher with the Kirin Brewery Co. in Yokohama, Japan, said that researchers fed rats a diet that contained either water, hops, malt or beer -- Kirin pilsner -- and also gave the animals azoxymethane, a potent inducer of colon cancer.
Nozawa felt that nearly 80 % of the15 rats given a water diet developed tumors when compared with about 50 % of the 15 rats that had beer or beer products in their diet, Another 13 rats were fed salt water as controls and none of them developed cancer; they were not given the cancer-causing agent.
The researcher suggested that it is prudent to suggest that beer, a low alcohol beverage brewed from natural, plant-derived ingredients which are rich in vitamins, amino acids and minerals, may have advantageous dietary effects and even chemo-preventive properties for carcinogenesis.
He suggested certain ingredients in beer act on a molecular level to thwart cancer-causing molecules from doing bad things in the colon. Another researcher, Hyuntae Kim, at the Arizona Cancer Center, felt that, there might also be something in beer that prevents mutations that lead to cancer formation. Nozawa felt that his study did not find hops alone could reduce cancer risk in rats. He suggested the rats might have not liked the bitter taste of the hops and did not drink enough to have a significant impact on cancer development.