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Effect of non-alcohol beer on anxiety: Relationship of 5-HIAA


Beer contains hop (Humulus lupulus L.) as flavoring and preservative. This cannabaceae plant, which possesses sedative and hypnotic properties, is present in non-alcoholic beer as well. Likewise regular beer, non-alcoholic beer includes the essential amino acid lysine with relaxing effects, which are related to the inhibition of serotonin receptors. It is known that the main neuroendocrine signal from stress is the release of the hormone cortisol, alongside with the altered levels of the hormone melatonin and the neurotransmitter serotonin. In this study we aimed to analyze the possible anxiolytic effect of non-alcoholic beer on neuroendocrine levels of cortisol, melatonin and serotonin, in a population under stress. To achieve this goal, a healthy student population was enrolled under the stressful conditions evoked by official academic exams. They consumed 1 non-alcoholic beer (330 mL) at dinner time for 14 nights. Melatonin, serotonin and cortisol levels were measured by quantifying their early morning urinary metabolites collected weekly. The consumption of non-acoholic beer reduced significantly the nocturnal serotonin levels whereas there were no substantial changes on melatonin and cortisol levels. However and in line with this, Anxiety/State parameters underwent a significant decreased after consumption of non-alcoholic beer at dinner time regarding to control values. These results point to the anxiolytic response of non-alcoholic beer is performed through the serotoninergic pathway. All in all, consumption of non-alcoholic beer might be an additional tool to deal with serotonin-related stress profile.

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Correspondence to J. Cubero.

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Franco, L., Galán, C., Bravo, R. et al. Effect of non-alcohol beer on anxiety: Relationship of 5-HIAA. Neurochem. J. 9, 149–152 (2015).

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  • non-alcohol beer
  • hops
  • lysine
  • serotonin
  • anxiety