Alison Hamm (1), Kimberly Cox-York (1), Tiffany Weir (1); (1) Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, U.S.A.
Menopause is a significant physiological transformation in the life
of a woman and is accompanied by an increased risk of multiple chronic
diseases. Menopause induces intestinal inflammation associated with
bowel dysfunction, which can compromise the intestinal barrier and lead
to inflammation in surrounding tissues and organs. The commensal
bacteria that reside in our gut are important modulators of
inflammation, and dysbiosis of this microbial community has been
associated with numerous disease states. Accumulating evidence suggests
that estrogen loss may be an important factor influencing bacterial
community structure. Hop phytoestrogens, including 8-prenylnaringenin
(8PN), are known to be estrogenic, and their bioactivity is dependent on
the gut bacterial community. Furthermore, hop phytoestrogens and their
precursors, such as xanthohumol (X), are bioactive polyphenols with
known protective effects against adiposity and oxidative stress. Using
an ovariectomized mouse model with a treatment of hop extract containing
8PN and XN, we have preliminary data suggesting significant
physiological effects, including changes in the gut bacterial community
structure and liver adiposity. We also measured the pharmacokinetics of
hop extract, showing polyphenol biotransformation in vivo by the liver
and gut microbiota.
Alison Hamm received a B.A. degree in molecular and cellular
biology from the University of California Berkeley in 2005 and an M.S.
degree in horticulture from Colorado State University in 2009. Since
2007, she has worked in Colorado with hops in various facets, including
field and greenhouse production, tissue propagation, undergraduate and
industry education, and craft brewery sales. She has been the secretary
chair for the local MBAA chapter for over two years and has been a
member for nine years. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate at Colorado
State University in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department and
is involved with both research and undergraduate teaching.