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It's Friday, it's 5pm, and you just want a pint. It's been a long week and nothing will taste sweeter than that first sip of the evening.
A crisp, refreshing pint of beer. Go on, taste it now. Lovely, isn't it?
But what you didn't know is that by drinking a pint of your favourite IPA you could be assisting your man boobs.
You see, although the hops in a pale ale can act as a great medicine for insomnia, or, in later life, the menopause, the high phytoestrogen content could also be causing 'brewer's droop'.
Herbalist Stephen Herrod Buhner is a man who knows all about the scientific wonders beyond the taste of your ale. He even wrote about it in his book, Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers.
In the book, he states that there are three standard uses of hops in herbal medicine: a sleep inducer, a diuretic, and as a natural sauce to phytoestrogen to treat menopause and endometriosis.
However, an imbalance of oestrogens can negatively affect men in the bedroom.
Buhner wrote: "[From] long-term exposure to the estrogenic properties of hops, [they] eventually have difficulty sustaining an erection."
That said, last year, Men's Health revealed just how good drinking an IPA can be for you.
A study by some German scientists looked at three groups of female mice. One set consumed hoppy beer, another drank beer without hops, and the third group guzzled straight-up ethanol.
Twelve hours later, the scientists opened up the livers of the mice to see what impact the different experiments had.
The results showed that those who had been given hoppy beer had the least amount of fat build-up in their livers, while regular beer and hard liquor had more.
Obviously, this study was done on mice by a German brewing company so how much you read into it is up to you.
However, if it is positive news then we'll take it. Can you get it on prescription?
Interestingly, unlike alcohol which has been around for thousands of years, hops in beer is only a result of the Beer Purity Act of 1516.
The Act saw medicinal herbs replaced by hops, and the penalty for making impure beer was confiscation without compensation.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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