Humulus lupulus supplement combats depression, anxiety, and stress
Supplementation with an extract of hops [Humulus lupulus] makes depressed, anxious or stressed people feel better within a few weeks. Greek researchers, attached to the University of Harokopio, reported this in Hormones.
Beer brewers use the hop plant Humulus lupulus to give their product it typical taste, the supplements industry uses the ame plant as a source of all sorts of interesting bioactive substances. Hop contains, among other things, humulones and lupulones. Animal studies and in vitro studies suggest that these substances, by interacting with the GABA receptor, have an antidepressant and sedative effect.
The researchers gave 36 adult subjects, who were suffering from mild depression, anxiety and stress, a supplement with an extract of Humulus lupulus for 4 weeks. Every day, the subjects took 2 capsules. Each capsule contained 200 milligrams of extract.
The researchers used Melcalin HOPs, a product from Italian BioTekna Biomedical Technologies [biotekna.com]. BioTekna did not sponsor the research.
On another occasion, the subjects took a placebo for 4 weeks.
Before and after the supplementation period, the subjects completed a standardized questionnaire: the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 [ASS-21].
Whether the subjects were taking a placebo or a supplement containing Humulus lupulus extract, their feelings of depression, anxiety and stress decreased. But the decrease was significantly greater if the subjects used the extract.
"Our study presents novel data showing that daily supplementation with a commercially available hops dry extract for a 4-week period in a cohort of otherwise healthy young adults with at least mild self-reported depression, anxiety and stress symptoms can significantly reduce the levels of all these symptoms", the researchers summarize.
"This finding adds to the existing literature on the hops induced effects, since most of the existing clinical studies have used combinations of hops with other sedative plant extracts."
"Longer studies are required to explore the long-term efficacy and safety of this intervention, which should be also studied in older patients with depression and/or anxiety/stress disorders."
Humulus hupulus also contains 8-prenylnaringenin, which is a strong phytoestrogen. Maybe men should not use supplements with large amounts of 8-prenylnaringenin.
Hormones (Athens). 2017 Apr;16(2):171-80.
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