hist-brewing: Hops

Richard Richard at WowMe.com
Tue Dec 7 03:11:05 PST 1999

    I posted a set of references about 4 days ago.  If you don't keep your old mail, let me know and I will forward this to you directly.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kirsty Pollock" <kirsty.pollock at mpuk.com>

> I know this is going on, and it's also repeating a discussion we had a few
> weeks ago, but I would love to see any compelling evidence that hops makes
> you sleepy, let alone messes with your hormone levels any more than anything
> else (plastics, for example). I may have missed references that people have
> used. 
> I know it's not exactly scientific, but I thought that both male fertility
> AND beer drinking were declining in the UK, which would be a reverse
> correlation to the one you are suggesting. No I don't have any hard figures
> on either, it's my memory from newspaper/science mag articles. If I had time
> to sift the results, I'd do a search, but I don't. Anyone interested in
> supporting/disputing my memory feel free to find the requisite references.

Perhaps this is true, I won't dispute your memory,but srawing a correlation betweenthe two is a bit difficult.  There is also a declining Monarch Butterfly population (were on the extinct list,but are being re-populated via breeding programs bringing them back to the endangeredspecies list) and Fireflys are already on the endangered species list, but this doesn't mean that Monarch Butterflys and Fireflys were a requirement for human male fertility in the UK.

> >From my own experiments with hops (on precisely 2 subjects, I will have to
> admit) it doesn't make you sleepy, though it possibly makes you have more
> vivid dreams). We both have sleeping problems and were anxious for some
> 'natural' help. Hops only seems to have an appreciable soporific effect when
> included as part of many many pints of beer :-)

Interesting that you have more vivid dreams under the influence of hops.  Potassium also has this effect and Magnessium and Manganese in large doses will help you remember them.
Different people are more susceptible to different things.  Milk is a perfect example of this.  Mil contains extremely high amounts of two amino acids: Tryptophan and Tyrosine.  Tryptophan generally results in drowsiness and Tyrosine usually results in alertness. A lot of people use milk to go to sleep.  For some it works, for others it intensifies the original problem because they react more to the Tyrosine then the Tryptophan.  For those people, eating turkey would be the best bet because it has extremely high levels of Tryptophan but no Tyrosine.  There are even some people who do NOT get tired after a Thanksgiving meal because they don't have a strong reaction to Tryptophan.
I know I react to hops.  If I drink  hopped bear, I get drowsey. If I drink Hopless Beer, I don't.  It's not all i my head because I noticed it before reading a lot of articles which discussedthe factthathops made you tired.  It wasn't until I readthose articles that I realized it was the lack of hops that made the difference.  I can repeat the results.  So for me, it causes drowsiness at those low levels.  For others, it may not.
> Again, possibly a repetition, but I thought 'brewer's droop' referred to the
> effect of too much alcohol on a man's ability to gain and maintain erection.
> (which will happen no matter whether you drink beer or wine or whisky).
> Alcoholics frequently become impotent. Anybody got a dictionary of
> etymology???

Brewers droop is specific to the condition related to hops.  Whether it is really the hops that cause it or not is to be debated.  I think we all know my own thoughts on this.  ;)


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