There are definitely known benefits to getting just a little bit tipsy when the weather turns colder (notable, the boozy "blanket"), but another health study gives us yet another reason to pick up a pint of beer.
Researchers at Sapporo Medical University (notable: not related to Sapporo Breweries) have discovered that a certain chemical compound in hops actually protects against a virus that causes pneumonia and bronichitis in youngsters.
According to the research, humulone helped curb the respiratory syncytial virus, which can "cause serious pneumonia and breathing difficulties for infants and toddlers, but no vaccination is available at the moment to contain it," Jun Fuchimoto, a researcher from the company, told AFP.
Obviously we're not advocating for beer-swigging children, but the RS virus does affect adults as well. The researchers are working on channeling humulone into an antivirus, and unfortunately for 21-plus adults, beer won't work as a deterrent. According to Fuchimoto, a person would have to drink thirty 12-ounce cans of beer to seriously fight the virus.
Instead, they're working on incorporating humulone into food or non-alcoholic drinks. "The challenge really is that the bitter taste is going to be difficult for children," Fuchimoto said. Us beer drinkers? We'll be fine.