Czech scientists say they have created a new non-alcoholic beer that contains 10 times the normal amount of phytoestrogen, intended to help women suffering from the menopause.
The beer, developed by the Czech Republic’s Research Institute for Brewing and Malting, is intended to relieve menopausal symptoms and maintain bone density by tackling a lack of the oestrogen hormone in many Czech women.
Functional food breakthrough
The development marks a sizeable breakthrough in the realm of functional beer, at a time when functional foods are becoming more popular in many markets.
Oestrogen levels drop significantly in women at the onset of the menopause and remain low from then on. Studies have linked a lack of the hormone to increased risk of various health problems, including heart disease and osteoporosis.
“Czech women lack oestrogen in their diet, so we wanted to solve this through beer because the Czech Republic is number one in the world for beer consumption,” Karel Kosar, managing director of the brewing research institute, told Cee-FoodIndustry.com.
Czechs drink an average 161 litres of beer each every year, compared to 121 in Germany, 84 in the US and around one litre in India.
Scientists have known for some time that hops used to make beer naturally contain phytoestrogen, a form of the oestrogen hormone found in plants.
Newly developed technology
Kosar said he and the team had used newly developed technology to make the beer.
He said the technique should also enable them to make the beer non-alcoholic yet preserve taste by maintaining the same levels of hops and malt as a normal alcoholic lager.
The scientists now plan to expand the research to bring their new beer closer to its market debut. Funding could be a problem, however. “We are looking to do more research, but everything costs money,” said Kosar.
Source: Decision News Media
- June 2006
Menopause and diet