(Originally written December 12, 2012)
Call me crazy, but I’ve always found the best way to cure a cough was to take some Cold FX in the morning and go out drinking at night. As it turns out, my method has just been scientifically proven—well, sort of. Agence France Presse is reporting that “Consuming large quantities of a key ingredient in beer can protect against winter sniffles and even some serious illnesses in small children,” according to a study by Sapporo Medical University.
And when it comes to cold prevention, the hoppier the beer, the better. The research study, funded by Sapporo Breweries, discovered that humulone, a chemical compound in hops, “was found to be effective in curbing the respiratory syncytial (RS) virus.” However, Sapporo researcher Jun Fuchimoto told AFP that “such small quantities of humulone were present in beer that someone would have to drink around 30 cans, each of 350 millilitres (12 oz), for it to have any virus-fighting effect.” Or, as Keith Richards would call it, breakfast.
Alas, Sapporo is looking for ways to add humulone to other foods and beverages, but there are a few obstacles to overcome. “The challenge really is that the bitter taste is going to be difficult for children,” Fuchimoto says. Don’t worry kids, you’ll get used to it!