It’s no doubt that obesity is on the rise among Americans, and while a strict diet and fitness regimen can combat it, many people choose to turn to alternatives. One of the most popular alternatives is to ingest supplements that contain fat-burning qualities. However, many of the trendier supplements, such as chia seeds and Irvingia gabonensis, have not been proven to assist with weight loss.
Enter iso-a-acids. When stored for long periods of time, iso-a-acids in beer breakdown into even more complex compounds called matured hop bitter acids (MHBA). While the structure is similar to iso-a-acids, however, they are less bitter and more palatable. MHBA has been proven to reduce body fat in healthy overweight individuals. More than that, though, they’ve been demonstrated to reduce hyperglycemia.
Over a period of 12 weeks, researches studied two separate groups of healthy overweight males. The first group was given matured hop extract (MHE) that contained 18.3% MHBA, with no detectable amounts of a-acids or iso-a-acids. The second group of participants were given a placebo beverage with a similar look and taste. Each group consumed their respective beverage once per day, adhering to a strict set of rules that could potentially sway results.
Those who consumed the MHE saw a significant reduction of visceral fat as well as total fat in the abdominal area at the end of the 12-week period. The reduction in these two areas was two times lower than the placebo group. BMI and body weight were also reduced as well as waist and hip circumference.
High levels of visceral fat around the intra-abdominal organs drive insulin resistance, increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and is associated with the development of cardiovascular disease. That said, reducing this fat is a key target for fighting against obesity and associated diseases.
All in all, the study proved that the isolated consumption of mature hop extract can result in significant reduction in body fat in healthy overweight individuals, even without lifestyle changes such as getting on a diet and fitness program. Unfortunately, though, drinking beer will not provide these benefits. While a strong, hoppy IPA have an iso-a-acid content of approximately 30-40 milligrams per liter, drinking beer in bulk is not recommended for it’s high calorie content and the other negative effects it can have on the body.