A compound derived from hops can significantly reduce the abundance of certain gut bacteria that are linked to metabolic syndrome. This could be an effective way to prevent or successfully treat metabolic syndrome.
A new study involving experts at Oregon State University examined the effects of a hop-derived flavonoid called xanthohumol and its semisynthetic derivative tetrahydroxanthohumol on mice suffering from obesity, hepatic steatosis and metabolic syndrome caused by a high-fat diet. The results are published in the journal “Microbiome”.
Was ist Tetrahydroxanthohumol?
Xanthohumol (XN) is a polyphenol and an ingredient in hops. One of its derivatives is called tetrahydroxanthohumol (TXN). The researchers explain that xanthohumol is one of the flavonoids found, for example, in fruits, vegetables and grains.
Influence on the intestinal flora
The studies in mice showed that tetrahydroxanthohumol is effective against metabolic syndrome by reducing the number of different types of bacteria of the genus Oscillibacter in the intestinal flora, the team reports.
“We found that tetrahydroxanthohumol works primarily by reducing the amount of gut microbes that promote inflammation in adipose tissue macrophage cells and improving glucose metabolism,” explains study author Andrey Morgun in a press release.
The macrophage cells are part of the immune system and glucose metabolism refers to the body’s ability to convert sugar into fuel. Being overweight usually impairs glucose metabolism, which promotes further weight gain.
Effects of impaired glucose metabolism
When glucose metabolism is disrupted, this not only negatively affects brain physiology, it is also a cause of a variety of diseases, including diabetes and heart disease, the team continued.
Consequences of a high-fat diet
When a high-fat diet is consumed, as is typically the case with metabolic syndrome, Oscillibacter bacteria promote inflammation of fatty tissue, which causes metabolic syndrome, Morgun explains.
Here, tetrahydroxanthohumol helps to reduce the number of Oscillibacter species, which can counteract the disease.
The research group had also reported in an earlier article that there is a connection between Oscillibacter bacteria, fatty tissue and type 2 diabetes. Tetrahydroxanthohumol could also represent an effective treatment option here.
How does metabolic syndrome occur?
When people eat diets high in saturated fat, this can lead to mild but chronic inflammation in the body, which then leads to the development of metabolic syndrome, the team explains.
Metabolic syndrome occurs when people are affected by at least two of the following factors: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low levels of healthy HDL cholesterol and high triglyceride levels, the researchers continued.
In Central Europe alone, around 30 to 35 percent of people suffer from metabolic syndrome, with the number of those affected continuing to increase, according to the Federal Association of German Internists (BDI).
In addition, there is also a high number of unrecognized cases of metabolic syndrome. In general, people over the age of 60 are particularly often affected by the widespread disease, but an increasing number of children and young people are also becoming ill.
Increased risk of heart disease and diabetes
This increase in metabolic syndrome disease is particularly problematic because cognitive dysfunction and dementia as well as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes can be associated with the disease.
There is an urgent need to find ways to prevent the occurrence of metabolic syndrome and to treat it successfully. Tetrahydroxanthohumol from hops could make this possible. (as)