The Positive and Puzzling Power of Hops
However, not all is blight. A savvy West Flanders businessman has found a new use for the hops of Hoppeland and is buying roughly one-third of the hops grown in Belgium for a new product called Menohop. Hops can guarantee a full night’s sleep, are known to combat cancer and, has been newly discovered, they counter the effects of menopause. Research teams found that hops have the most powerful phyto-estrogens found in the plant kingdom and closely mimic the molecular makeup of naturally occurring estrogens. His Belgian company (Biodynamics) is reviving the dieting hop industry of Hoppeland with the introduction of this hop-based pill to counter the effects of menopause.
Early clinical studies by Professor Denis De Keukeleire from the University of Ghent and Professor Stuart Milligan of King’s College (London) are proving that hop derivatives are far safer than the present hormone replacement therapies that doctors are currently prescribing. For some women, hormone replacement therapy and its side effects are worse than those from menopause itself. Consequently, many women are switching to phyto-estrogens as a safer, less health-disruptive, alternative.
With the use of this strong Phyto-estrogen, doctors are finding fewer incidents of breast cancer, coronary disorders and pulmonary embolisms than traditional hormone replacement. The new product, which is not approved for North America yet, is called Menohop and each tablet contains 100mg of hopeine (a hop derivative), which is equal to the amount of hops found in three quarts of lager-type beer. Presently, a monthly treatment of Menohop costs 15.15 Euros or just less than $20 per month.
Extensive exposure to hops is known to affect men as well. Hops contain a natural hormone-like substance that mimics estrogens. It is called “hop grower’s droop,” causing male hop harvesters to grow female-like breasts after long exposures to the hops. Evidence of this phenomenon appears anecdotal. Humulus lupulus, the botanical name for hops (which translates from Latin to “wolf of the woods”) is part of the Cannabinaceae plant family; yes, the same family as marijuana. I have read that the overuse of pot can have the same breast-growing effect on men. (But fear not: unless you are drinking 20 Imperial IPAs a day, the purchase of a bra should not be necessary.)