But will brewers start to make and market health beers or nutraceutical ales? We may not be that far away. Researchers at Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University in Yangling, China, have developed genetically engineered grapes that they say deliver six times the amount of resveratrol found in regular grapes. Resveratrol is a compound in red wine that researchers believe helps decrease heart disease rates and may have other health benefits. In late 2007, a study at Oregon State University found a substance in hops can help fight several types of common cancers. The researchers discovered that xanthohumol, which is found naturally in hops, helps detoxify carcinogens and can kill breast, colon, prostate and ovarian cancers.
The problem is that with standard hops an individual would have to consume 60 beers a day to get the maximum cancer fighting benefits of xanthohumol. Researchers at the brewing technology section of the Technical University of Munich in Germany are said to be working on ways of concentrating the amount of xanthohumol in beer.
So someday in the not too distant future your doctor just might prescribe Your Next Beer.