"Although the prostate weights were not changed, xanthohumol still reduced the effects of hormone signaling, such as gene expression, measured in the prostate tissue," she said.
"Xanthohumol is a natural product, which blocks the effects of male hormone testosterone, and should therefore be investigated for prostate cancer prevention," she said.
Not everyone believes that beer looks like a potential solution to this disease, which affects one out of six American men and will kill more than 27,000 of them this year, according to the American Cancer Society.
Dr. Durado Brooks, director of prostate and colorectal cancer at the American Cancer Society, said that if beer could prevent prostate cancer, we would already see lower rates of it.
"Like a lot of findings, it's way too early. Showing that something works in a test tube and that you can impact rat prostates is a long way from demonstrating any sort of viability in humans," he said.
A better bet for men might be the drug finasteride (Proscar), which has been shown to reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, Brooks said.
"Men need to understand that these drugs are not risk-free, but if a man is concerned about his prostate cancer risk then he should be aware that there are medicines out there that have been shown to be efficacious in decreasing the risk," he said.
Drinking a lot of beer is "not one of the things we recommend," Brooks said.
For more information on prostate cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.
SOURCES: Clarissa Gerhauser, Ph.D., group leader, cancer chemoprevention, division of epigenomics and cancer risk factors, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg; Durado Brooks, M.D., director, prostate and colorect
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