An antidote to drunkeness?

UCLA led researchers have developed a “pill” that uses two enzymes to mimic the action of the human liver in fighting alcohol intoxication.In a discovery that could derail the popular “Hangover” movie franchise, a team of researchers led by UCLA engineers has identified a method for speeding up the body’s reaction to the consumption of alcohol.

The researchers placed the two enzymes in … polymer capsules measuring just tens of nanometers in diameter. … The capsule protects the enzymes and allows them to freely [interact with] alcohol molecules. … The researchers used a mouse model to test how well the enzyme package worked as an antidote after alcohol was consumed. They found that blood alcohol levels in mice that received the enzyme package fell more quickly than in mice that did not. Blood alcohol levels of the antidote test group were 15.8 percent lower than the control group after 45 minutes, 26.1 percent lower after 90 minutes and 34.7 percent lower after three hours

via “Pill” Mimics the Action of the Human Liver in Fighting Alcohol Intoxication | SciTech Daily.

This is not the first alcohol antidote. But it is a clever approach to deliver extra amounts of nature’s own enzymes to do the job. Normally this doesn’t work because stomach acid breaks down and denatures any enzymes that are consumed. But since the delivery system is novel type of nanostructure, it is still a long way from being a commercial product. In the meantime, the best antidote to excess alcohol is a large glass of water.

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About Caspar

Caspar Addyman has a BA in mathematics, a BSc in psychology and PhD in developmental psychology. He works at the CBCD at Birkbeck, University of London. Before becoming an infantologist he spent eight years writing trading systems in the City. He lives in Brixton, Berlin and Dijon. He never drinks the same drink twice in a night and dances without spilling a drop. Twitter: @BrainStraining
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