South Africans have long suspected it and now science has gone and proven it.
Yes folks, it turns out beer does lift your spirits, as proven by a team of scientists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.
The team behind this study examined 13 000 different kinds of molecules found in food and drink to find out whether they stimulate the reward centres in the brain. As it turns out, the hordenine found in malted barley does a pretty good job.
At the end of the testing, 17 molecules were selected for their grin inducing qualities with hordenine producing the best results.
“It came as a bit of surprise that a substance in beer activates the dopamine D2 receptor, especially as we were not specifically looking at stimulant foodstuffs,” explains Prof. Dr. Monika Pischetsrieder.
Just like dopamine, hordenine stimulates the dopamine D2 receptor, however it uses a different signalling pathway. In contrast with dopamine, hordenine activates the receptor solely through G proteins, potentially leading to a more prolonged effect on the reward centre of the brain.
The team is now investigating whether hordenine levels in beer are sufficient to have a significant effect on the reward centre. All things considered, the results indicate that hordenine may well contribute to the mood-boosting effect of beer.
Remember, as with everything in life, beer is best enjoyed in moderation. And if drinking beer isn’t your thing, why not try cooking Windhoek Draught Festive Season Chicken instead.