Thursday, October 30, 2008

It was only a matter of time

Another cancer fighting cocktail. Computer World reports that researchers at Rice University are genetically engineering a beer that, with the addition of resveratrol, will have "higher and more consistent concentrations of the cancer-fighting chemical" than red wine. Read all about it here.

So resveratrol is naturally a part of grapes, red wine and pomegranates yet they are putting the chemical into beer? When does it become a chemical? Mmm... yummy hoppy chemical? A researcher quoted in the article said, "In general, the addition of the resveratrol shouldn't affect the taste of the beer, since the chemical is odorless and tasteless." Hmm...

Anywho, back in June, scientists at the University of Wisconsin called resveratrol "a key reason for the so-called French Paradox- the observation that French people have lower rates of heart disease despite a cuisine known for its cream sauces and decadent cheeses, all loaded with heart-clogging saturated fats." Something tells me that American eating and drinking habits may vary from the French a tad bit more than that one little compound. And... well... suggesting that popping open a cold one will deliver more resveratrol, more consistently than it's natural source just doesn't seem like great advice.

(thnx Troy)

7 comments:

Troy said...

What are you, Pro-Cancer? How could Cancer fighting beer be a bad thing? mmmMMM Cancer fighting beeeerrr...

Becky said...

I say if you are going to drink beer anyways, it can't hurt to fight cancer.

Deborah said...

No. Not pro-cancer at all. Maybe you misunderstood my tone.

Resveratrol - as in wine, grapes, etc - have been studied and are said to have antioxidants and benefits HOWEVER that doesn't mean that when isolated and manually put into something, the chemical compound alone will maintain that valuable trait. Resveratrol could very well be working in conjunction with who-knows-what other vitamins and minerals are in those fruits that are not present in an artificial home like yeast or hops. I am sure there will be tons of studies and more and more articles about this, but as a research analyst I have found that the study and the points pulled out of a study and publicized can tell very different stories.

Furthermore, they suggest chemically-altered cancer-fighting beer is better for you than FOOD that has NATURAL antioxidants. ("higher and more consistent concentrations") It is sort of along the lines of the vitamin push. How often do you hear, "I take a multi-vitamin every day" as a statement of health? Is that person healthier because they generally care for themselves (like most people who take vitamins do)? Or is it just because of the vitamin?

So how long will they study and track cancer-fighting beer drinkers before this goes on the market? Long enough to know that they never developed cancer? Probably not, yet they will promote the concept as fact.

That brings me to my next thought (that I didn't mention in the post): profit. Whoever sells a cancer-fighting beer will probably make a fortune while so many farmers, whose food is rich in antioxidants as well - but without the marketing dollars to promote it, barely stay afloat simply because a scientist says they pulled out the "nutrients" and put them into something that people prefer to consume: beer.

Sorry if the post upset you. I just got the sense that this was more like another "added value" scam than an actual cancer-fighting beer.

But I have to ask you, Why beer? What about kids? Kids can't drink beer? Why not just put it in everything?

Deborah said...

Becky, when you put it that way... sure, yes, absolutely - if the beer does in fact fight cancer. If it doesn't, oh well. You still enjoy the beer, likely an expensive one at that.

Deborah said...

You know what... I have to say that I retract my sarcasm in this post. My opinion on the topic is not relevant. I aim for the blog should to be educational, not irritating. Expect more of an effort on my behalf to keep it neutral. I appreciate your comments.

Troy said...

I knew where you were coming from, It's just my natural reflex to defend beer. I agree with you though, if it's so great, why don't they put it in everything? There's always a trade off.

Deborah said...

hahah lol "In Defense of Beer" ;-)