Anti-Inflammatory Natural Alternative to NSAIDS: Hops – Should You Drink More Beer?

Rho-iso-alpha acids (RIAA) has been found to be a very effective anti-inflammatory and a safer alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).  RIAA is a modified extract of Humulus lupulus, which is more popularly known as hops, an ingredient used in beer-making.  Hops are the flower clusters of the hop plant.

So, should you drink more beer?  To find out, keep reading.

Efficacy and Safety of RIAA as a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Alternative to NSAIDS

In a recent article RIAA has been found to inhibit inflammation by inhibiting the molecule initiating the inflammatory response.  This molecule is called Nuclear Factor Kappa-B or NF kappa B.  On the other hand, NSAIDS work differently.  They block special enzymes called Cox-1 and Cox-2 enzymes.  By blocking them, it keeps your body from making many prostaglandins, which are involved in pain and swelling.  However, some types of prostaglandins also protect the lining of the stomach and GI tract, so that is a disadvantage.  Furthermore, NSAIDS can cause extreme allergic reactions in people with asthma.  RIAA does not directly inhibit Cox-1 or Cox-2 enzymes.  Therefore, while inhibiting pain and swelling, it does not cause damage to the stomach lining or GI Tract.  Unlike NSAIDS, it has not been found to cause allergic reactions in those with asthma or other health conditions.

Other Benefits of Humulus Lupulus

Because it works as an anti-inflammatory substance by inhibiting NF kappa-B, it has shown to have potential anti-cancer properties.   NF kappa-B is often over-activated in rapid cancer cell growth.  By down-regulating NF kappa-B, Humulus has been found to assist with programmed cell death of cancer cells.

Those with autoimmune inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may also benefit from the use of the RIAA extract from Humulus.  This also is attributed to the effect on NF kappa-B.

Humulus may also have an insulin sensitizing effect, beneficial for those with diabetes and susceptible to weight gain.

Modified Hops Extracts Effects Appear Promising

With the research findings so far, extracts derived from Humulus lupulus appear to have a number of promising benefits.  Since these can be formulated into a supplemental formula, at this point it would be recommended as a safe and effective option for those with inflammatory diseases, as a chemo-protective agent, and those with weight problems and diabetes.

Unfortunately, the unmodified extract from hops, which is used in beer, has not shown the above benefits.  So, beer drinkers should not use this as a good reason to drink more beer.  In addition, beer is made through heating and fermenting blends of hops and other substances and it contains alcohol.

If you need this natural anti-inflammatory alternative to NSAIDS, RIAA, seek the advice of a knowledgeable Certified Clinical Nutritionist for the right type of extract and dose for your particular condition.

If you have any questions regarding this natural anti-inflammatory alternative, call me at (650) 394-7470 or fill out my contact form.