Hops and zinc support women’s health
- Hops improve postmenopausal bone health
Low estrogen contributes to osteoporosis, which led doctors to consider hop extract, a powerful phytoestrogen. In this study, 100 postmenopausal women with osteopenia, aged 50 to 85, took a placebo or hop extract daily. All participants took daily calcium and vitamin D supplements.
After 48 weeks, those taking hop extract saw total-body bone mineral density increase 1 percent compared to placebo, and 1.7 percent compared to the start of the study. Women in the hop group also had improved physical function scores and reported being better able to perform daily activities.
Discussing the results, doctors said hop extract may be preventive in women with low bone mass that cannot be prescribed standard osteoporosis medications at this stage. Also, the high number of women who saw an increase of 1 percent or more suggests that hop extract may reduce chances of osteoporosis by a similar percentage.
REFERENCE: NUTRIENTS; 2023, VOL. 15, NO. 12, 2688
- Zinc preserves mother and child health
Good zinc levels are important for healthy pregnancy and childbirth. This study followed 160 women, aged at least 20 and average age 31, during the third trimester, some with and some without pregnancy-induced high blood pressure.
Zinc levels were 1.3 micrograms per deciliter lower in those with gestational high blood pressure compared to those without. Most (58.5 percent) of the women with high blood pressure were insufficiently active compared to 7.5 percent for those without, and systolic blood pressure was also higher, 133.3 vs. 112 mmHg. Newborns weighed an average 6.4 vs. 6.89 pounds for high blood pressure vs. those without.
Reference: Frontiers in Nutrition; 2023, Article No. 1155529