TitleThe Multiple Biological Targets of Hops and Bioactive Compounds.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsBolton JL, Dunlap TL, Hajirahimkhan A, Mbachu O, Chen S-N, Chadwick L, Nikolic D, van Breemen RB, Pauli GF, Dietz BM
JournalChem Res Toxicol
Date Published2019 Feb 18

Botanical dietary supplements for women's health are increasingly popular. Older women tend to take botanical supplements such as hops as natural alternatives to traditional hormone therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms. Especially extracts from spent hops, the plant material remaining after beer brewing, are enriched in bioactive prenylated flavonoids that correlate with the health benefits of the plant. The chalcone xanthohumol (XH) is the major prenylated flavonoid in spent hops. Other less abundant but important bioactive prenylated flavonoids are isoxanthohumol (IX), 8-prenylnaringenin (8-PN), and 6-prenylnaringenin (6-PN). Pharmacokinetic studies revealed that these flavonoids are conjugated rapidly with glucuronic acid. XH also undergoes phase I metabolism in vivo to form IX, 8-PN, and 6-PN. Several hop constituents are responsible for distinct effects linked to multiple biological targets, including hormonal, metabolic, inflammatory, and epigenetic pathways. 8-PN is one of the most potent phytoestrogens and is responsible for hops' estrogenic activities. Hops also inhibit aromatase activity, which is linked to 8-PN. The weak electrophile, XH, can activate the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway and turn on the synthesis of detoxification enzymes such as NAD(P)H-quinone oxidoreductase 1 and glutathione S-transferase. XH also alkylates IKK and NF-κB, resulting in anti-inflammatory activity. Antiobesity activities have been described for XH and XH-rich hop extracts likely through activation of AMP-activated protein kinase signaling pathways. Hop extracts modulate the estrogen chemical carcinogenesis pathway by enhancing P450 1A1 detoxification. The mechanism appears to involve activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) by the AhR agonist, 6-PN, leading to degradation of the estrogen receptor. Finally, prenylated phenols from hops are known inhibitors of P450 1A1/2; P450 1B1; and P450 2C8, 2C9, and 2C19. Understanding the biological targets of hop dietary supplements and their phytoconstituents will ultimately lead to standardized botanical products with higher efficacy, safety, and chemopreventive properties.

Alternate JournalChem. Res. Toxicol.
PubMed ID30608650