Kudzu May Help Control Alcoholism

2009-08-20 17:47

The rapidly growing vine kudzu may put a strangle hold on alcoholism, according to a report to be published in the November issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Recent investigations show that kudzu contains compounds that decreases alcohol intake in laboratory animals.

Kudzu extracts and flowers have been used in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for alcoholism and intoxication for about a millennium. Given the apparent success of this folk remedy and the serious alcoholism problem in the United States and around the world, scientists have been eager to determine if kudzu is really effective and if so, why.

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According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 17.6 million Americans - one in 12 adults - abuses alcohol or is alcohol dependent. Currently about 80 percent of alcoholics relapse within one year of becoming abstinent.

The current study, which included investigators from across the country, has identified several compounds in kudzu extract - namely, the isoflavones puerarin, daidzin, and daidzein—that decrease the intake of alcohol is animals. More specificially, daidzin is the most potent of the isoflavones, and its ability to inhibit alcohol consumption is attributed to the fact that it is a selective inhibitor of ALDH-2.

Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH-2) breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde. When kudzu is consumed, the daidzin inhibits ALDH-2 and allows acetaldehyde to accumulate. An excess of acetaldehyde causes flushing and an ill feeling, which makes people much less likely to want to drink alcohol.


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It has been found that extract of the roots from the kudzu creeper had a potential to curtail unfavourable signs of metabolic syndrome. It has been experimented on rats and no side-effects has been found. But since it still not been experimented on humans, scientists have not yet recommended it for people.
Typical American pharma-corporate bulls***...Here we go with synthesizing drugs, which can then be sold for ridiculous amounts of money, when there there is NATURAL PLANT that has the same effects...Wouldn't it be better to give alcoholic patients kudzu, rather than producing a synthetic compound which does the same thing???