Will Hangovers Soon Be a Thing of the Past?

Will Hangovers Soon Be a Thing of the Past?

A British psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist predicts that in 10 to 20 years, there will be no more hangovers. Why? Because people won’t be drinking alcohol at all – instead, they’ll be toasting with a hangover-free, synthetic alcohol called “alcosynth, that gives all of the buzz without any negative health effects,” he says. Since alcohol is the third-leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.[1], this is a development worth following.

“The greatest public health development in the history of the world?”

Professor David Nutt, a former government drugs adviser, is the driving force behind a new venture called Alcarelle, a low-calorie, synthetic alcohol that he hopes will soon be a safer way to drink. To create the beverage, Nutt’s team identified approximately 100 synthetic substances that produce similar effects to alcohol. These “alcosynth” molecules are noteworthy because, though they mimic alcohol’s pleasurable effects, they are non-toxic. Meaning: there is no damage to the liver, heart, blood vessels, and brain by partaking in an alcosynth-based beverage. As Nutt states: “Alcohol kills more [people] than malaria, meningitis, tuberculosis, and dengue fever [do] put together. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could replace alcohol with something that led to almost no deaths? That would be one of the greatest public health developments in the history of the world.”

Implications for synthetic drugs

While this is an exciting development for those who like to drink and wish to bypass the negative side-effects of alcohol, the implications for such a pot of gold are still up for debate. Here’s why: Synthetic derivatives are tricky – they never act on one part of the body alone – and they are psychoactive, meaning they change brain function. Any time you manufacture something that is supposed to mimic nature, it’s not always perfect. As well, the particular synthetic compounds are still under wraps while the company seeks funding, so it’s hard to know how your body will respond.

Remember olestra?

In 1996, the FDA approved olestra as a food additive – apparently they thought zero calories, zero grams of cholesterol, and zero grams of fat couldn’t be a bad thing. The food industry and general public were overjoyed to discover an ingredient that made snacking practically guilt-free. Well, even though olestra did remove unwanted fat from foods, it also prevented essential vitamin absorption by the body. The side effects: brutal cramps, gas, and diarrhea. Time magazine went so far as to call it one of the 50 worst inventions of all time. The whole point is…what will we learn about alcosynth in time? We just don’t know yet.

What to drink this holiday season

In the interim and certainly in time for this holiday season there are already safer alternatives to traditional alcohol that are clean on process and low on boozy side effects. Dry Farm Wines, for example, produces natural, organic, biodynamic, and low-alcohol wines; then lab tests their products to ensure they’re free of mold and additives. The result is a low-inflammation and hangover-free wine. To hear founder Todd White’s take on Dry Farm Wines, listen here.


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