Tags: kudzu | curbs | drinking

Kudzu Extract Curbs Drinking

Monday, 21 May 2012 11:35 AM



A natural extract of the Chinese herb kudzu dramatically reduces drinking and may be used to curb alcoholism and binge drinking, according to a new study by McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School researchers.
The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, found one of the major components of the kudzu root — the isoflavone puerarin — significantly reduced alcohol consumption in a laboratory designed to simulate an afternoon drinking session.
"Our study is further evidence that components found in kudzu root can reduce alcohol consumption and do so without adverse side effects," said lead researcher David Penetar, of the Behavioral Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory at McLean Hospital. "Further research is needed, but this botanical medication may lead to additional methods to treat alcohol abuse and dependence."
In China, puerarin is an approved treatment for coronary heart disease, heart attack and angina.
For the study, Penetar and his colleagues tested kudzu’s effects on 10 men and women in their 20s who were avid drinkers. A laboratory at McLean Hospital was set up as an apartment, with TV, DVD player and other amenities – including a refrigerator full of beer and other non-alcoholic beverages.
In an initial 90-minute session in the "apartment," each subject was allowed to consume as many beers as desired — up to a maximum of six. Then each was given puerarin or a placebo and told to take it daily for a week. By the fourth week, test subjects taking puerarin were drinking significantly fewer beers than in the initial session — dropping from 3.5 beers on average to 2.4.
"This was a simulation of a binge drinking opportunity and not only did we see the subjects drinking less, we noted that their rate of consumption decreased, meaning they drank slower and took more sips to finish a beer," explained Penetar. "While we do not suggest that puerarin will stop drinking all together, it is promising that it appears to slow the pace and the overall amount consumed."

© HealthDay

 
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A natural compound in the Chinese herb may be an effective new treatment for alcoholism and binge drinking.
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2012-35-21
Monday, 21 May 2012 11:35 AM
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