TECH

Beer Could Help Us Fight Cancer

Cheers to this.

18/03/2016 13:01 GMT | Updated 18/03/2016 13:02 GMT

The ingredient used to balance the flavours in beer could help us fight cancer, scientists have said.

Hops, a little plant bud, contains vital molecules with anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties that we are one step closer to making in the lab.

Science Photo Library - STEVE GSCHMEISSNER via Getty Images
Pancreatic cancer cells.

Presenting their work at a American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting, researchers explored how we might be able to make these naturally occurring compounds in the lab.

The two compounds they are interested in are known as lupulones and humulone - both are types of acids. 

Humulones have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, while lupulones have less well-understood biological effects. 

Hops has always been used to balance the flavours in beer.

"When researchers extract healthful chemicals from hops, they first have to determine whether they have separated out the specific compounds they're interested in," said project lead, Kristopher Waynant, in a press statement.

"But if you can figure out how to make these compounds from scratch, you know they are the right ones."

However, the team have encountered challenges in creating this dream drug. 

"It's been a lot of trial and error," one researcher said.

"But it's so exciting when an approach finally works."

Cheers to that.