Ann Arbor Life Extension

Posted: October 28, 2015 at 7:45 am

Ifyou are reading this book, you are probably interested in life extension and antiaging concepts. Aging makes us increasingly vulnerable to alcohol-induced hangover, liver injury, and damage to the central nervous system. Because alcohol consumption produces toxic compounds and causes vitamin deficiencies, in the best of all possible worlds it would be better not to drink alcohol at all. For those who still want to drink, it is possible to do so more safely. The first piece of advice would be to drink only moderately and follow the preventive measures outlined in this protocol.

Warning:What follows is for those who choose to drink moderately. This advice is not for those who suffer from alcoholism. Simply put, an alcoholic has “lost the power of choice in drink” and is “without defense against the first drink.” In short, an alcoholic cannot drink safely. The Foundation is all too aware that an alcoholic may easily misinterpret the following information as a license to drink. It is not. It is only for those who drink by choice and do so in moderation.

The consumption of alcohol results in the formation of two very toxic compounds, acetaldehyde and malondialdehyde. These compounds generate massive free-radical damage to cells throughout the body. The free-radical damage generated by these alcohol metabolites creates an effect in the body similar to that caused by radiation poisoning. That is the reason why people feel so sick the day after consuming too much alcohol. If the proper combination of antioxidants is taken at the time the alcohol is consumed or before the inebriated individual goes to bed, the hangover and much of the cellular damage caused by alcohol may be prevented.

Aging makes us increasingly vulnerable to alcohol-induced hangover, liver injury, and damage to the central nervous system. In the elderly, alcohol- and drug-induced injury are more common and more serious, and recovery is more difficult.

Nutrients that neutralize alcohol byproducts and protect cells against the damaging effects of alcohol include vitamin C, vitamin B1, the amino acids S-allyl-cysteine and glutathione, vitamin E, and selenium (Sprince et al. 1975; Hell et al. 1976; Loguercio et al. 1993; van Zandwijk 1995; Marotta et al. 2001). There are several commercial preparations that can be taken at the time the alcohol is consumed or before bedtime to help prevent a hangover. One of these is called Anti-Alcohol Antioxidants. The ingredients in this formula will help prevent hangover while providing protection against the damaging byproducts of alcohol metabolism.

A study in the journal Alcohol showed how antioxidants could protect against brain damage. The study concluded by stating:

chronic pretreatment with vitamin E prevents alcohol-induced vascular injury and pathology in the brain (Altura et al. 1999).

Another study in the journalArteryconfirmed a specific toxic metabolite of alcohol (acetaldehyde) and identified an antidote (N-acetyl-cysteine) (Vasdev et al. 1995). Here is an excerpt:

All known pathways of ethanol metabolism result in the production of acetaldehyde, a highly reactive compound. N-acetyl cysteine, an analogue of the dietary amino acid cysteine, binds acetaldehyde, thus preventing its damaging effect on physiological proteins.

These findings should not surprise anyone who understands that the ingestion of alcohol inflicts massive free-radical damage throughout the body. When a person is exposed to a known toxic substance (such as alcohol), it makes sense to take an antidote (antioxidants) to provide at least partial protection against the short-term (hangover) and long-term (degenerative disease) effects.

Supplementation with 400-800 mg of SAMe twice a day will help support healthy liver function. For those who cannot afford SAMe, supplementation with 500 mg of trimethylglycine (TMG, also known as glycine betaine), 800 micrograms of folic acid, and 500 micrograms of vitamin B12, taken twice a day, could help the liver to synthesize S-adenosylmethionine.

A study inAnnals of Internal Medicinecompiled the enormous cost of lost productivity induced by hangovers (Wiese et al. 2000). Here is an excerpt from this study:

The alcohol hangover is characterized by headache, tremulousness, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue combined with decreased occupational, cognitive, or visual-spatial skill performance. In the United States, related absenteeism and poor job performance cost $148 billion annually (average annual cost per working adult, $2000). Although hangover is associated with alcoholism, most of its cost is incurred by the light-to-moderate drinker. Patients with hangover may pose substantial risk to themselves and others despite having a normal blood alcohol level. Hangover may also be an independent risk factor for cardiac death.

Based on these statistics, hangover causes a significant economic loss in the United States. The staggering cost of alcoholic hangover could be significantly mitigated if drinkers took the right antioxidants before going to bed.

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Ann Arbor Life Extension

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