Inhibitory effects of beer and other alcoholic beverages on mutagenesis and DNA adduct formation induced by several carcinogens

J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Jan;47(1):221-30. doi: 10.1021/jf980685a.


The possibility that beer and other alcoholic beverages could be antimutagenic against the heterocyclic amines (HAs), a group of carcinogens produced on cooking proteinaceous foods, has been explored. In the Salmonella mutation assays, beer showed inhibitory effects against several HAs [preactivated Trp-P-1, Trp-P-2(NHOH), and Glu-P-1(NHOH)] that are directly mutagenic in bacteria. Japanese sake, red and white wines, and brandy were also effective. However, ethyl alcohol alone did not show these effects. The formation of O(6)-methylguanine by N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine in the DNA of Salmonella YG7108 was also inhibited by beer. Nonvolatile beer components were administered orally to CDF(1) mice together with Trp-P-2. Adducts in the liver DNA were significantly decreased by the beer, as compared to those in controls fed Trp-P-2 only. Although several phenolic compounds known to be present in beer were antimutagenic toward these mutagens, their effects were very small. It was concluded that some yet to be identified component(s) of beer is (are) responsible for this antimutagenicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Beverages*
  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents*
  • Beer*
  • Carcinogens / toxicity*
  • DNA Adducts / biosynthesis*
  • Mice
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Rats


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Carcinogens
  • DNA Adducts