Beer-drinking men may be reducing their chances of developing prostate cancer with every pint, tests by scientists have revealed.

Experiments have shown that xanthohumol, a compund derived from the hops in beer, blocks a chemical reaction that can lead to the development of cancer.

The disease is usually treated with drugs that act in a similar way.

"We hope that one day we can demonstrate that xanthohumol prevents prostate cancer development, first in animal models and then in humans, but we are just at the beginning," said study leader, Dr. Clarissa Gerhausa, from the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg.

Xanthohumol is a powerful antioxidant, known to have anti-cancer properties. It is also found in fruits and spices.

It was previously suggested that the compound could reduce the chances of females getting breast cancer.

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