Scientists created hops pastilles for treating stomach diseases

Scientists from three research centres collaborated on creation of gelatine pastilles with hops substances content. They proved the hops prevent spreading of the original infection contributing to gastric ulcers and cancer formation. Microbes can be eliminated by antibiotics as well but with some patients they do not have the desired effect.

"We have proven by laboratory tests that substances contained in hops stop the Helicobacter pyroli bacteria from spreading. It is also highly probably that these substances are able to kill them when in higher concentrations", said Pavel Čermák, senior consultant of clinical microbiology of Thomayer Hospital in Prague for Doctors have proved the hops to have an effect on the bacteria by a three-year long research. Apart from the Thomayer Hospital the research was conducted also by the Research Institute of Food Industry and Research Institute of Brewing and Malting in Prague.

They now claim to have the results proving that hops have similar effect as antibiotics.

According to the scientists it was proven the hops have curative properties. The research was started due to the fact that the common antibiotics treatment is ineffective with some patients. The widespread usage of antibiotics causes the bacteria being able to defend itself from the treatment. In the Czech Republic there are thousands of patients with the bacteria, said Čermák. Estimated five percent of them cannot be treated with antibiotics. But this number comes from the laboratory not from the medicinal practice. "In reality this percentage could be much higher", Čermák points out.

For the research purposes it was necessary to keep the hops fresh for the longest time possible. Scientists used so called pascalization for the hops to last. The material is pressure treated in cold atmosphere before storage. It is not heated as when using pasteurization or sterilization. Hops treated this way can last for a whole year without any change in its properties.

The pascalization treated hops went to the Thomayer Hospital labs where microbiologists "cultivated" 31 Helicobacter pyroli bacteria tribes. Then they tried to eliminate then using substances from the hops and antibiotics. They are getting ready to publish their results in the professional media. "We proved by the laboratory tests the hops are nearly as effective when treating the bacteria as antibiotics", said Čermák.

Hops in the gummy bears.

The research could have been finished with that but that was not the case. The Food Research Institute returned into the process. The institute looked for ways to get the blended hops to the patients. Because the medicinal testing process is lengthy and expensive they went the way of a dietary supplement. This is the category of vitamins or joint nutrients for example.

From the hops dark brown gelatine pills with shape and size similar to viagra were created. According to Jan Strohalm from the Food Institute the biggest problem was to get enough water into the pills and get rid of the strong bitter taste. "At the end the addition of dried barley malt concentrate proved to be the most effective", added Strohalm.

The pills do not have their producer yet .

Because they were able to create the pills in the end the scientists submitted a utility model application and patented the whole production process. Then they went to the food producers. They have not been successful yet. "Even though we tried we were unable to get a producer. I think the problem is that this product is intended for health purposes", Strohalm speculates. Producers are prohibited to advertise the dietary supplements in the same way as medicine. They cannot say the food has curative effects even though the scientific results show the hops are indeed curative.

The pills will not reach the patients for now. The situation could be changed if bigger companies were interested in the production of the pills and advertised the curative effects of the hops. It would also help if Czech Republic pushed the hops into the European legislation as a medicine.

According to Alexandr Mikyška from the Research Institute of Brewing and Malting in Prague it is without any doubt that substances contained in the hops have anti-inflammatory and diuretic effects, increase appetite and are able to clean the organism and prevent sleep disorders. The hops also contain agents similar to the female sex hormone oestrogen. It is possible to alter the period with it or help prevent problems with menopause. In fact scientists developed beer for women in the past. This beer never went into production neither.

Scientists claim the substances can obviously be consumed by drinking beer. But beer is brewed from dried strobili with lower content of curative substances. Producers are already experimenting with brewing beer with higher content of these agents. Those beers are produced abroad but consumers may be put off by its strong bitter taste.