Hop (Humulus lupulus)-derived bitter acids as multipotent bioactive compounds

J Nat Prod. 2009 Jun;72(6):1220-30. doi: 10.1021/np800740m.


Hop acids, a family of bitter compounds derived from the hop plant (Humulus lupulus), have been reported to exert a wide range of effects, both in vitro and in vivo. They exhibit potential anticancer activity by inhibiting cell proliferation and angiogenesis, by inducing apoptosis, and by increasing the expression of cytochrome P450 detoxification enzymes. Furthermore, hop bitter acids are effective against inflammatory and metabolic disorders, which makes them challenging candidates for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, and metabolic syndrome. This review summarizes the current knowledge on hop bitter acids, including both phytochemical aspects, as well as the biological and pharmacological properties of these compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acids / analysis
  • Acids / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Humulus / chemistry*
  • Mice
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Rats


  • Acids
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic