Hangover Drug Appears Effective To ‘Erase Alcohol Very Quickly’
By Darwin Malicdem
April 8, 2020
A popular hangover drug has been found effective to reduce the effects of alcohol after a hard party. Researchers said ampelopsin’s effects go beyond reducing headaches since it could also protect the liver and prevent alcohol-related harm.
The new study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, shows that ampelopsin or dihydromyricetin (DHM) causes metabolic changes that help block some effects of alcohol. Researchers said the over-the-counter drug prevents even long-term and acute alcohol-related effects.
“We know DHM helps the body to metabolize alcohol faster, but how does it work? We found it activates a cascade of mechanisms that erase alcohol from the body very quickly,” Jing Liang, corresponding study author and a research professor at the University Of Southern California, said in a statement.
DHM came from fruit of the Japanese raisin tree. It has been widely used in China for 500 years as a remedy for liver ailments.
In the latest study, researchers tested the drug with 36 mice to see how it works against hangover and alcohol-related liver problems. Each animal consumed alcohol daily for two months and later received DHM for liver injury and stress.
Results showed that the hangover drug helped the liver produce more ethanol-gobbling enzymes, including alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). The two enzymes helped the body convert and eliminate ethanol faster.
The mice that received DHM had lower fat accumulation in liver tissue after the animals’ long-term consumption of alcohol. The drug reduced inflammatory agents, called cytokines that have been linked to cellular damage to the liver and other organs.
“In total, these findings support the utility of DHM as a dietary supplement to reduce ethanol-induced liver injury via changes in lipid metabolism, enhancement of ethanol metabolism and suppressing inflammation responses to promote liver health,” researchers said in the study. “This line of research suggests that DHM
acts on multiple pathways to promote liver health and counteract ethanol injury.”
The team hopes their findings would help guide new therapies for people at risk of alcohol-related health problems. Researchers said the hangover drug may help people cope with binge drinking and alcoholism.