Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Treatment with kudzu extract does not cause an increase in alcohol's intoxicating effects, study finds

Date:
January 18, 2011
Source:
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
Summary:
Kudzu, a medicinal plant, has long thought to reduce alcohol dependence, but the precise mechanism remains a mystery. Recent research shows that pre-treatment with kudzu extract had little to no effect on the participant's behavioral, physical or cognitive performance.

There are many ways, both medical and traditional, that are used to treat alcohol abuse or dependence. In China, kudzu root extract has been commonly used to reduce, but not eliminate, alcohol consumption and dependence. Despite its history, the mechanism of action for kudzu extract is still unknown, and that is what the current research explores.

Related Articles


Results of the study will be published in the April 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

David M. Penetar, senior author of the study and assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at McLean Hospital, said that kudzu has been around for centuries to treat alcohol intoxication, hangovers and other related problems in humans. But, how kudzu manages this is still not understood. One possibility is through the different isoflavones, which are biologically active molecules that can affect physiology, contained within the kudzu extract.

"Recently, preclinical studies with animals have shown reductions in alcohol consumption when treated with isoflavones contained in the kudzu root," said Penetar. "Therefore, the next step in the research was to assess the effects of kudzu extract on different physical, behavioral and cognitive features in humans."

The researchers observed 12 men and women in a double-blind placebo-controlled study. The participants were either treated with kudzu or a placebo for nine days, and then received a medium or high alcohol challenge to determine how prominently they presented alcohol-related symptoms.

The results showed pre-treatment with kudzu extract had little to no effect on the participant's behavioral, physical or cognitive performance. However, the researchers did note that treatment with kudzu caused an increase in heart rate, skin temperature and blood ethanol levels in the participants. Based on this, the researchers hypothesized that an increase in blood ethanol levels could translate into increased effects from the first alcoholic drink and delay an individual's desire for subsequent drinks.

"The fact that participants experienced a rapid rise in blood alcohol levels when pre-treated with kudzu has no apparent explanation and therefore requires additional research," said Penetar. For the researchers, the next step is to determine if kudzu alters regional brain blood flow using an fMRI.

"If alcohol reaches the brain earlier, people might stop drinking earlier or drink less because they achieve the desired intoxication level earlier, with less alcohol," said Robert Swift, a Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University and the Providence VA Medical Center.

"It is also possible that there is another, as yet undiscovered compound in the mixture that accounts for the effects. Thus, the mechanism of action of the kudzu extract remains unknown."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David M. Penetar, Robert R. MacLean, Jane F. McNeil, Scott E. Lukas. Kudzu Extract Treatment Does Not Increase the Intoxicating Effects of Acute Alcohol in Human Volunteers. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01390.x

Cite This Page:

Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Treatment with kudzu extract does not cause an increase in alcohol's intoxicating effects, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118161357.htm>.
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. (2011, January 18). Treatment with kudzu extract does not cause an increase in alcohol's intoxicating effects, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118161357.htm
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Treatment with kudzu extract does not cause an increase in alcohol's intoxicating effects, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118161357.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
100-Year-Old Woman Sees Ocean for First Time

100-Year-Old Woman Sees Ocean for First Time

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) Ruby Holt spent most of her 100 years on a farm in rural Tennessee, picking cotton and raising four children. She saw the ocean for the first time thanks to her assisted living center and a group that grants wishes to the elderly. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins