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OfflineDrink_Punk_Soda
Now with ExtraVaganza!?
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Registered: 06/14/02
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Kudzu and effects on alcohol
    #4205502 - 05/22/05 02:18 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Study: Kudzu helps curb binge drinking

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 Posted: 10:51 AM EDT (1451 GMT)

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- The hardy, invasive kudzu vine, introduced to this country decades ago to control soil erosion, could have what it takes to curb binge drinking, new research suggests.

Kudzu, an ever-expanding plant considered a pest in much of the South, appears to contain a compound that can be effective in reducing alcohol intake among humans.

Researcher Scott Lukas did not have any trouble rounding up volunteers for his study, published in this month's issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Lukas' team at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital set up a makeshift "apartment" in a laboratory, complete with a television, reclining chair and a refrigerator stocked with beer.

Findings show that subjects who took kudzu drank an average of 1.8 beers per session, compared with the 3.5 beers consumed by those who took a placebo.

Lukas was not certain why but speculated that kudzu increases blood alcohol levels and speeds up its effects. More simply put, the subjects needed fewer beers to feel drunk.

"That rapid infusion of alcohol is satisfying them and taking away their desire for more drinks," Lukas said. "That's only a theory. It's the best we've got so far."

In 2003, David Overstreet and other scientists found the herb to be effective in reducing alcohol intake on rats.

"There's a lot of anecdotal evidence from China that kudzu could be useful, but this is the first documented evidence that it could reduce drinking in humans," said Overstreet, who described Lukas' work "groundbreaking."

Lukas recruited 14 men and women in their 20s to spend four 90-minute sessions consuming beer and watching TV. Researchers selected people who said they regularly consumed three to four drinks per day.

After the first session, some subjects received capsules of kudzu, others a placebo.

"Unbeknownst to them, I was weighing that mug of beer every time they took a sip," Lukas said. "We actually got a sip-by-sip analysis of their drinking behavior."

None of the subjects had any side effects from mixing kudzu with beer.

"It's perfectly safe, from what we can tell," Lukas said. "Individuals reported feeling a little more tipsy or lightheaded, but not enough to make them walk into walls or stumble and fall."

Though kudzu won't turn drinkers into teetotalers, Lukas said, he hopes it can help heavy drinkers to cut back.

"That way, they're a lot closer to being able to cut down completely," he said.

Lukas' study was inspired by Dr. Wing Ming Keung, a pathology professor at Harvard Medical School who has studied kudzu's potential medical applications.

Keung, not directly involved in Lukas' study, said he has extracted a compound from kudzu root that he hopes to turn into a drug for reducing alcoholics' cravings.

"The most urgent need is helping people who cannot help themselves, who need a drug to help them stop drinking," Keung said
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So one can't help but wonder, if taking kudzu with alcohol makes one feel intoxicated with less actual alcohol intake, if it could be used by non-alcoholics as well.  Imagine the weight and carb-conscious bar-hopper who could pop a kudzu supplement, have a mug of dark porter or two, and be done for the night.  Granted it'd take a bit away from the fun of "drinking all night", but it could be useful as well.  Not to mention, for poor college kids ( :wink:), if the supplements were cheap enough, one could get away with spending much less on alcohol and getting the same effect.

Thoughts?


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Kumbayah my lord, Kumbayah...


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OfflineTrainwreck
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Registered: 12/22/04
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Re: Kudzu and effects on alcohol [Re: Drink_Punk_Soda]
    #4205506 - 05/22/05 02:19 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Yup.

Old news :shrug:


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OfflineDrink_Punk_Soda
Now with ExtraVaganza!?
 Arcade Champion: Maeda Line, Moon Patrol

Registered: 06/14/02
Posts: 1,677
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Re: Kudzu and effects on alcohol [Re: Trainwreck]
    #4205525 - 05/22/05 02:23 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Sorry, just found the article a few moments ago. Thought it was interesting, although I was dissapointed that the article doesn't mention how much kudzu was administered.


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Kumbayah my lord, Kumbayah...


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InvisibleLe_Canard
Danger Man
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Registered: 05/17/03
Posts: 93,260
Loc: Earthfarm 1 Flag
Re: Kudzu and effects on alcohol [Re: Drink_Punk_Soda]
    #4205532 - 05/22/05 02:24 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

That stuff grows all over the place where I live. I wonder how much I could make selling that stuff over the internet....


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OfflineTrainwreck
No. Really.

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 3,563
Loc: Southern California
Last seen: 2 years, 1 month
Re: Kudzu and effects on alcohol [Re: Drink_Punk_Soda]
    #4205538 - 05/22/05 02:25 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Nah man, it is pretty interesting. Actually sounds like something worth trying :lol:

Just that I think someone posted that exact article in the Other Drug section like less then a week ago.


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OfflineDrink_Punk_Soda
Now with ExtraVaganza!?
 Arcade Champion: Maeda Line, Moon Patrol

Registered: 06/14/02
Posts: 1,677
Loc: Nowhere fast
Last seen: 1 year, 28 days
Re: Kudzu and effects on alcohol [Re: Trainwreck]
    #4205563 - 05/22/05 02:30 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

I'm more of a GL&P, S&P, and PUB guy, guess I missed it. Anywho, for the curious:

" The experimental group took two 500 milligramme kudzu capsules three times a day and then attended a laboratory which simulated a living room, with a kitchen stocked with their favourite beer."

http://www.graduateengineer.com/eonicweb.asp?pgid=69&artid=2858

Nature's Way 613mg capsules (60)


--------------------

Kumbayah my lord, Kumbayah...


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