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Beer, Anti-Oxidants, Xanthohumol and the Mid-Year Meeting

Posted By Darrel Conger, Friday, May 18, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 18, 2012

So what do, beer, anti-oxidants, Xanthohumol and the Mid-Year-Year meeting have to do with ophthalmic imaging?  I will get to that shortly.  Most people in the OPS probably don’t know me but I have been a member of the OPS for 24 years and a CRA for 22 of those years.  It’s only been in the past couple of years that I have been able get out and speak and attend meetings.  And what a great couple of years it has been getting to meet some of my fellow ophthalmic imagers.   When talking to my fellow OPS members, one hobby (or obsession depending on who you talk to) among many members of the OPS is the drinking and/or brewing of craft beer.  Craft beer is beer that is brewed in small quantities by individuals or small brewpubs.

So what does beer have to do with ophthalmic imaging?  Beer is made up of only 4 ingredients… water, yeast, grain, and hops. The ratio of hops and type of grain give us all the varieties of beer.  Without adding hops to beer it’s technically barley wine and very sweet.  On the opposite end are beers called India Pale Ales that have huge quantities of hops and are very bitter.  It turns out hops contain a very powerful prenyflavonoid anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory called Xanthohumol.


Xanthohumol is not your average anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory either.  It’s being studied in clinical trials for several forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease.  We all know how important both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants are in diseases like macular degeneration, uveitis and diabetes.  While there are some homeopathic formulations of Xanthohumol eye drops for red or irritated eyes available on the market, no drug trials involving the eye have been done at this point.  Some eye care physicians already advocate drinking red wine because of a similar anti-inflammatory called Resveratrol.

The possibilities are fascinating to consider.  At the Mid-Year meeting in Chapel Hill the OPS is hosting a Home-Brew Reception.  Fellow ophthalmic imagers will be bringing their craft beers and sharing them.  If you have never tried fresh beer before, you are in for a treat.  Due to the large variety expected even those who thought they hated beer might find one they enjoy.  And if you don’t like any of them, plenty of non-alcoholic beverages will also be available.  The Mid-Year meetings are smaller, more intimate and a great place to meet new people and have great discussions.  I look forward to seeing you in Chapel Hill.




 Darrel Conger, CRA is a Neuro-Ophthalmic Imaging Specialist with the Clinical Center for Multiple Sclerosis in the Neurology department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He is working on developing models of structure and function relationships for use in neuro-protective and neuro-regenerative drug trials.  He spent 22 years working in Ophthalmic Imaging in the Ophthalmology Department at UT Southwestern.

Tags:  Beer  blog  Educational Meeting  Ice Breakers  Mid-Year  PDC  Professional Development Committee 

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Comments on this post...

Timothy J. Bennett CRA OCT-C says...
Posted Friday, May 18, 2012
Very cool Darrel! I knew there had to be some hidden health benefits to beer... I'll be bringing a supply of homebrew to the reception that has extra anti-oxidants. It's brewed with green tea, honey and generous amounts of Sorachi Ace hops that give it a lemon/citrus bite. Now that I know the hops are loaded with xanthohumol I guess I could classify it as an "Imperial" Anti-Oxidant brew. We'll have to share one at the reception and discuss the health benefits of beer. See you there.

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Darrel L. Conger CRA says...
Posted Saturday, May 19, 2012
You know your a brewer when your wife refers to your friends as krausen's (beer scum for those who don't brew). I look forward to trying any Imperial. Cheers!
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