hist-brewing: Hops

Kirsty Pollock kirsty.pollock at mpuk.com
Tue Dec 7 03:25:29 PST 1999

> From: Richard [mailto:Richard at WowMe.com]
> Kirsty,
>     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.

please do
> > 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.

Yes, but there has never been proposed a connection (so far as I am aware)
between butterfly populations and male fertility (on what grounds would it
be??). I'm perfectly aware that correlation is not causality (one of my
favourite phrases in fact) there has to be also a plausible mechanism which
fits the facts, and can be proved by repeatable experiment (naturally with
large enough sample size and double blinded). Then maybe it makes in to the
category of possible reasonable explanation (subject to further theories and

It's that sort of data I'd look for on hops to persuade me to you point of
view. As you go onto below, the reasons for individuals, or groups
divergence from the pattern are also important.

> 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.

Intersting, never found either made me sleepy. Not that I eat turkey at all
these days and virtually never drink milk, so I can't really experiment.

> 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.

as above. Such varying reactions make it notoriously difficult to explain
effects of many drugs/natural substances.

> > 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.

references/proof please.
> Whether it is really the hops that cause it or not is to be 
> debated.  

is that not contradictory to the previous sentence?

> I think we all know my own thoughts on this.  ;)

hey, if it makes you, personally, sleepy, then it does. I cannot possibly
argue with that (I know a guy who coffee makes sleepy!). I also cannot argue
that it seemingly does also have such an effect on many, but not most, other
people.  I'm just concerned that there is a risk of needlessly worrying
people with the possible other side effects (understandably, you don't
comment upon these in the context of yourself, and I can't do so in my case,
being the wrong gender).

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