Hops extract is derived from the same hops plant (Humulus Lupulus) used for brewing beer. The hops plant is grown in Europe, Asia, and North American and has traditionally been used as a sedative to improve sleep and reduce stress and anxiety. In this article, we are going to go over everything you need to know about hops extract and the hops plant. Let's get right into it with the health benefits of hops extract. Hops extract will be an ingredient in Easy Sleep™, the Fitore Nutrition all-natural sleep aid coming in July.
Hops is a necessary component of beer brewing and hops extract has been used medicinally for thousands of years since medieval times. Scientists have confirmed that humulene and lupuline in hops have sedative properties that may have applications to medicine.
A 2012 study whose objective was, "to analyze the sedative effect of hops as a component of non-alcoholic beer" on the sleep/wake cycle in a work-stressed population concluded that hops improved the sleep quality in individuals in "regard to the most important parameters." The study found that hops extract helped the participants fall asleep 8 minutes faster on average compared to the placebo group. Anxiety levels were also reduced in the individual's given hops extract. A separate 2014 three week study of 30 college students that used sleep-quality index questionnaires to determine sleep habits found that those who were given non-alcoholic beers (hops) with dinner for 14 days reported significant improvements in sleep scores as well as a significant reduction in the time it took to fall asleep.
A 2010 review of studies from Australia found that pairing hops with valerian root extract may be an effective treatment for insomnia. Of the 16 confirmed reviewed studies, 12 unanimously concluded that the combination of hops and valerian root extract improved sleep quality and reduced the time it took to fall asleep dramatically. In some cases, the reduction in time it took to fall asleep translated to two and a half hours of additional sleep per night and a 50% decrease in nighttime awakenings.
Passionflower, hops extract, and valerian root extract in combination with one another has shown to be, in some cases, as effective of a sleep aid as prescription-based sleeping pill Ambien. The 2013 study was first reported in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology and has since been replicated numerous times with similar findings. Once again, the all-natural blend of passionflower, hops extract, and valerian root extract when in combination with one another has shown to be as effective, and in some cases, more effective than Ambien—which is one of the most widely used prescription-based sleep aids on the market.
Hops extract has also been studied as being a potential treatment for depression, anxiety, and other common mood disorders. A 2017 study published in the Journal Hormones found that supplementing with hops extract can effectively help reduce stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression. The placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial study that included 36 young adults with mild depression that were either given 400 mg of melcalin hops or a placebo for four weeks found that those taking hops showed a significant reduction in stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression.
A compound found in hops extract called xanthohumol appears to exert anti-cancer effects that could possibly one day marshal the development of novel cancer therapies. According to a 2018 review of studies, xanthohumol was able to kill various types of cancer in test tub studies including melanoma, leukemia, ovarian, breast, colon, and liver cancer. Although additional research is needed to both confirm and build upon these promising studies, the research to date is certainly encouraging.
Hops extract supplements and when used as an ingredient is believed to be safe and minimal side effects have been reported. Possible side effects include sleepiness and or possible drowsiness. Hops extract has the potential to cause an allergic reaction (mild rash) in people who are allergic to birch pollen, however, this does not occur in everyone.
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