Impact of xanthohumol (a prenylated flavonoid from hops) on DNA stability and other health-related biochemical parameters: Results of human intervention trials

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2016 Apr;60(4):773-86. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201500355. Epub 2016 Mar 17.


Scope: Xanthohumol (XN) is a hop flavonoid found in beers and refreshment drinks. Results of in vitro and animal studies indicate that it causes beneficial health effects due to DNA protective, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and phytoestrogenic properties. Aim of the present study was to find out if XN causes alterations of health-related parameters in humans.

Methods and results: The effects of the flavonoid were investigated in a randomized crossover intervention trial (n = 22) in which the participants consumed a XN drink (12 mg XN/P/day). We monitored alterations of the DNA stability in single cell gel electrophoresis assays in lymphocytes and of several health-related biomarkers. A decrease of oxidatively damaged purines and protection toward reactive oxygen species induced DNA damage was found after the consumption of the beverage; also the excretion of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine and 8-oxo-guanosine in urine was reduced. The assumption that the flavonoid causes DNA protection was confirmed in a randomized follow-up study with pure XN (n = 10) with a parallel design. Other biochemical parameters reflecting the redox- and hormonal status and lipid- and glucose metabolism were not altered after the intervention.

Conclusion: Taken together, our data indicate that low doses of XN protect humans against oxidative DNA damage.

Keywords: 8-oxoGuo; 8-oxodG; DNA damage; SCGE assay; xanthohumol.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Adult
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / drug effects*
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • Deoxyguanosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxyguanosine / urine
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / blood
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Propiophenones / blood
  • Propiophenones / pharmacology*
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Single-Cell Analysis / methods


  • Flavonoids
  • Propiophenones
  • Protective Agents
  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • DNA
  • Deoxyguanosine
  • xanthohumol