Is bitter beer better? Hops are the flowers of the hops plant and are used in making beer. Their bitter acids provide beer’s bitter taste. Could they improve cognition? Researchers randomized 60 healthy adults ages 45 to 64 to receive either placebo or 35 milligrams per day of hops bitter acids, taken orally. Tests of cognitive function were performed at baseline and at weeks 6 and 12. Those receiving the bitter acids performed better than those receiving placebo on a test of verbal fluency at 6 weeks, and on a test of cognitive control at 12 weeks.
Fukuda T, Obara K, Saito J, Umeda S, Ano Y. Effects of hop bitter acids, bitter components in beer, on cognition in healthy adults: a randomized controlled trial. J Agric Food Chem. 2020;68(1):206-212. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.9b06660. Epub 2019 Dec 27.