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Chinese Herb May Help People Get Drunk More Quickly

Old 05-17-05, 04:16 PM
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Chinese Herb May Help People Get Drunk More Quickly


Beer Drinkers Show That Kudzu May Curb Binge Drinking
Lab For Study Lets Beer Drinkers Get Comfortable

POSTED: 4:52 am PDT May 17, 2005
UPDATED: 7:05 am PDT May 17, 2005

BOSTON -- Imagine getting to drink free beer and watch TV -- all in the name of science.

Dr. Scott Lukas said he didn't have any trouble finding volunteers for his research project on a Chinese herb and alcohol.

He set up a makeshift apartment in a lab at McLean Hospital in a Boston suburb. He outfitted his research pad with a TV, recliner and refrigerator stocked with beer.

Lukas then recruited 14 men and women in their 20s, all heavy drinkers. They drank brewskis and watched the tube while researchers monitored their alcohol consumption. Some of the participants were given the herb kudzu, and the rest were given a placebo treatment.

"This scenario is analogous to a person coming home from work or school and relaxing in his or her living room," Lukas said.

Of the 11 participants who completed the entire study, "eight drank fewer beers while receiving kudzu versus placebo treatment, two drank the same number of beers and one drank one more beer," Lukas said in a news release. Participants also took more but smaller sips of beer while taking the kudzu extract, the researchers found.

The study is published in this month's issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Lukas said the research could be useful in curbing binge drinking.

Participants who took the extract in earlier studies said they felt more "tired," "floating" and "intoxicated" after one drink, suggesting that kudzu "may be prolonging or enhancing the acute effects of the first drink," Lukas said.

He speculated that kudzu increases blood-alcohol levels and speeds up its effects, so the subjects needed fewer beers to feel drunk.

Kudzu, an invasive plant introduced to the United States in 1876 and dubbed "the vine that ate the South," was used as early as A.D. 600 in China as an intoxication treatment, according to a news release.

Studies of kudzu have been limited by the fact that "kudzu is not a pure substance like naltrexone and acamprosate," two of the drugs currently approved to treat alcoholism, said Dr. David Overstreet, an alcoholism researcher at the University of North Carolina.
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Old 05-17-05, 04:18 PM
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I already emailed my brother in Atlanta to ship me a bunch.
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Old 05-17-05, 05:21 PM
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Knowing the intelligence of the common beer drinker, the guy will drink more beers AND will take kudzu.
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Old 05-17-05, 08:07 PM
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Especially if the beer is free.
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Old 05-17-05, 08:11 PM
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Old 05-17-05, 08:43 PM
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I hope us taxpayers aren't paying for this study.
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Old 05-17-05, 08:46 PM
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holy shit! I'd actually have disposable income again!
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