If there isn’t an app for that, there may be a pill for avoiding bodily impacts of boozing it up. Scientists are touting a pill to lessen the impact of beverage alcohol, according to a study published February 17 in Nature Nanotechnology. The new pill counters the “buzz” alcohol abusers and those with the disease of alcoholism feel, lowering blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and reducing liver damage caused by heavy drinking.
In a study, scientists from the University of California experimented with two enzymes and tested their ability to act as an alcohol prophylactic and antidote… sort of a condom against alcohol’s buzz and related damage to tissues. Intoxicated mice given a combination of the enzymes recorded lower blood-alcohol content over time.
The enzyme pill cut intoxication by 10 percent after an hour and a third over an evening. The rodents were found to have a reduction in BAC in the short term and healthier livers in the longer term compared with those injected with a single enzyme.
Research author Yunfeng Lu said the work suggested that the artificially produced alcohol nano-pill could provide a method for preventing liver injury arising from the over-consumption of alcohol.
"Excessive consumption and abuse of alcohol are associated with a range of organ injuries and social problems," Professor Lu said. Alcohol-related problems are currently estimated to cost U.S. taxpayers $223 billion annually. Among the damages is the connection between alcohol and cancer reported in this examiner.com story.
Professor Mike Daube, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth, said the concept was "very speculative" and a pill was not the answer to alcohol problems in society. "We know how to reduce alcohol problems, and that lies with politicians, not with scientists," he said.
"We are always reading about people developing pills that can do this and that, and they sound miraculous but few of them go beyond the theoretical," he said.