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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Preventing Cancer With Beer??

So apparently in Oregon, a study has shown that there is a chemical in the hops used to make beer that helps prevent prostate cancer in men. The chemical, xanthohumol, affects cells on the surface of the prostate gland and prevents a protein on those cells from turning on and producing cancer. So you think you can drink your way to health? Well, there's a bit of bad news:

It would take 17 beers a day to have potential benefit.

Now, I know what you're thinking (at least if you're like a few of the fraternity guys I used to live with): "17 beers a day? No problem, dude! I'm drinkin' my way to healthiness!" Well, I'd be a fool to not remind you that 17 beers a day would cause severe alcoholism and/or cirrhosis of the liver. But I would also admit that it might be fun trying... So as long as we're on the subject of tiny amounts of chemicals that help prevent prostate cancer, it's worth mentioning that lycopene, a chemical found in tomatoes, it also noted for helping prevent prostate cancer.

So how many pizzas a day would equal the tomatoes needed for the preventative powers of lycopene to take effect?

Four large pizzas a day.

So sadly the whole four-pizzas-a-day plan for preventing prostate cancer would probably give you an obesity problem before you could NOT get prostate cancer, not to mention the other probable health problems (like several heart attacks) it might cause along the prostate-cancer-free path. Also, that amount of cheese would probably do some major havoc on the digestive system... What good is preventing prostate cancer if you can't have a bowel movement for a few months?

So in the end, I guess there's no quick fix for men to prevent prostate cancer - at least NOT YET. With this newfound information, hopefully these chemicals can one day be turned into pills and whatnot to more effectively utilize their preventative natures. Even if there's no fun of getting drunk or pepperoni involved.

But at least there's one more reason to get the guys together, get some pizza and beers, and maybe watch a sporting event.

And if your significant other wants to pester you about the pizza and beer?

"Honey, let me enjoy my treatment! You don't want me to get prostate cancer, do you??"


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