All around the globe, alcoholism is considered one of the biggest problems which not only causes health problems but can also shorten peoples life span.
According to the World Health Organization, alcoholism is the cause of death for approximately 2.5 million people annually. To counter this problem, extensive research has been conducted to find a way to curb drinking habits or at least reduce alcohol intake.
A Practical Solution for Hardened Drinkers
It may sound too good to be true, but hardened drinkers now have a way of breaking the cycle of alcohol addiction! A natural substance called dihydromyricetin (DHM), which we have written about extensively on the Sobur blog, has been identified as a tool to keep a person sober no matter how large their alcohol intake. It also has the ability to neutralize hangovers and prevent an alcoholic from giving in to alcohol cravings.
The answer lies in the oriental raisin tree of Chinese variety which is scientifically known as Hovenia dulcis. The tree has been medically used for hundreds of years and the extract is specifically used to treat hangovers in China & other Asian nations.
Experiments conducted on boozing rats have shown that one component of the extract – dihydromyricetin (DHM) – has the special ability to block intoxication. It works its magic by stopping the brain from feeling the intoxicating effects no matter how high the amount of alcohol in the blood.
A research team in the University of California, Los Angeles spearheaded the first testing of the effects of DHM on humans. Pharmacologist Jing Liang lead a study on DHM, administering it to problem drinkers who have difficulty resisting the urge to drink alcohol and go to the pub/bar/liquor store. DHM was expected to lessen the degree of drunkenness and reduce hangover symptoms, too. Eventually, it cuts down the desire to drink alcohol completely.
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Is the Use of Dihydromyricetin on Humans a Good Idea?
Several groups whose main concern is finding the solution to the rising problem of alcoholism worldwide are hopeful that dihydromyricetin is safe for humans to use.
David Nutt, the former head of the advisory on drugs of the British government, is optimistic that the data gathered on the study involving mice as subjects would have the same results on humans.
The said study supports that GABA receptors play a major role in the actions of alcohol on the human body and targeting this interaction could be a workable approach in lessening alcohol consumption.
However, some alcohol experts are doubtful about the availability of a “sobriety pill” because it could possibly make matters worse. Instead of putting a stop to alcoholism, there is a greater likelihood that the compound will encourage people to drink more rather than encourage them to drink less!
The clinical director of the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Markus Heilig, also showed concern on the development of an alcohol antidote. He pointed out that a similar compound referred to as Ro15-4513 was initially developed by Roche but did not manage to reach the market due to abandonment & concerns over its side-effects.
Many people were worried that having a solution to drunkenness and hangovers would only tempt people to consume more alcohol and then rely on the alcohol antidote to stop the intoxicating effects, should the need arise.
Serious side-effects like convulsions and anxiety were also included in the reasons why the development of Ro15-4513 was terminated. But Liang claims that DHM does not carry the same side effects, since no signs were evident during the study.
How Can Dihydromyricetin Sober Up a Person Quickly?
DHM can indeed increase the rate at which a person sobers up after a drinking session. It happens in 2 ways:
- Lessens the blow of alcohol to the brain
Most of the common signs of drunkenness like lowered inhibition, slurred speech and loss of balance are caused by the works of GABA receptors in the brain. Dihydromyricetin has the ability to oppose this effect even when the blood alcohol level is still high.
- Improves function of the liver
The liver requires an ample amount of time before it can completely process alcohol and excrete it from the system. With the help of DHM, the liver is able to work faster and the person sobers up at an accelerated rate.
Can Dihydromyricetin Promise an End to Post-Alcohol Misery?
Since researchers managed to isolate the dihydromyricetin compound from the Japanese raisin tree Hovenia Dulcis, it has received an overwhelming amount of interest, not only amongst clinical practitioners but alcohol drinkers as well.
After statistically significant research results showed that the compound can actually prevent the ugly after-effects of alcohol consumption, more and more people took notice of the potentials of such a drug in preventing the problems associated with alcoholism.
Although this anti-alcohol and anti-hangover pill will prevent signs of drunkenness from showing, it is still not a 100% solution to alcohol problems. You should not operate heavy machinery or drive a car after consuming alcohol, no matter how much dihydromyricetin you’ve consumed, for example. Dihydromyricetin is not a sobering solution that you should use before driving! Although you are not feeling any of the common signs of drunkenness, the alcohol is still present in your bloodstream and it would not, in any way, decrease the level of alcohol in your body.
You would still be violating the law and alcohol tests would still show positive should a police officer stop you along the road. More importantly, there is still a chance that your driving will dangerous to a certain degree because the pill does not guarantee a 100% sobering effect to individuals.
An age old adage says that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. There is no need for an alcohol antidote if drinking (too much) alcohol is completely avoided. We understand that this is an improbable solution, however. But it is still not too late to put a stop to alcohol abuse. Nothing is really impossible for someone who is willing to give it a try. And if your efforts are not enough to make things happen, you can always seek professional help in saying bye-bye to alcohol for good.
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