Beer could be the new weapon against cancer

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MEN now have another excuse to go down the pub thanks to new research suggesting that a compound in beer may prevent prostate cancer.

Tests showed that the ingredient, xanthohumol, blocked a biological pathway that allows prostate cancer to be fuelled by the male hormone testosterone.

The disease is commonly treated with drugs that act in a similar way.

Xanthohumol is a powerful antioxidant derived from hops. It belongs to a family of chemicals called flavonoids found in fruits and vegetables that are known to have anti-cancer properties.

Previous studies have already suggested that xanthohumol may block the female hormone oestrogen's ability to stimulate breast cancer. Scientists now believe it may have a similar effect in men.

In laboratory tests, the compound blocked the molecular "switch" that allows testosterone to trigger changes in prostate cells that may lead to cancer.