A wise man once said, “Beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.” That man has had a solid job for over 23 years now, so he must be onto something. Sure, beer usually gets a bad rap for being caloric and consumed in large amounts, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Or something. It’s hard to chug, type, and be relevant all at the same time.
In a study that may draw a few wary glances, Sapporo Medical University has found that a chemical contained in beer hops is a proven opponent of the respiratory syncytial (RS) virus. Humulone is the compound that gives beer its distinct bitter flavor, but also gives it the powers of anti-inflammation, albeit on a minuscule level. RS is a particularly serious virus in infants and toddlers, causing pneumonia and breathing problems, while appearing as just a common cold in adults. So obviously the best way to keep your children from getting the virus is to get shithoused at home while the grandparents do some babysitting.
And yes, to answer your question, it’s that Sapporo. The study was funded by Sapporo Breweries, the Japanese beer company, who you might remember for its 2006 promotion of its Space Barley brew, created from barley grown on the International Space Station. It’s a beer with noble science goals in mind. Meanwhile, Budweiser uses CGI to gets its mascot Clydesdales to kick field goals for expensive commercials. I think I hear Lee Greenwood singing somewhere.
Beer will often pop up in the news for both health benefits and drawbacks, but many concern themselves solely with the drinking of beer itself. Because one would have to drink 30 12 oz. beers in order to achieve the correct amount of humulone to counteract any viruses, researchers are looking to replicate the compounds effect in foods and non-alcoholic drinks, with one hurdle being to mask the bitter tastes in order to please children’s taste buds. But after proving yet again how awesome beer is, I personally grant the scientists a little R&R time before they continue with their studies. It’s up to them if they use it or not. Now chant it with me. “Beer science! Beer science! Beer science!”