Health & Wellbeing

Anti-intoxicant gel keeps alcohol out of the bloodstream

Anti-intoxicant gel keeps alcohol out of the bloodstream
Ingested before, during or soon after drinking, the gel converts alcohol into harmless acetic acid
Ingested before, during or soon after drinking, the gel converts alcohol into harmless acetic acid
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Ingested before, during or soon after drinking, the gel converts alcohol into harmless acetic acid
Ingested before, during or soon after drinking, the gel converts alcohol into harmless acetic acid

If you enjoy having a drink with friends every so often but don't want to get drunk, then a new gel may be just what you're looking for. The ingestible substance is said to help keep alcohol from entering the bloodstream, and from damaging the liver.

Ordinarily, alcohol enters the bloodstream through the mucous membranes that line the inside of the stomach and intestines. It then proceeds to the liver, where it's metabolized first into a toxic chemical compound known as acetaldehyde, and then into relatively harmless acetic acid.

Unfortunately, even though the acetaldehyde is converted into acetic acid fairly quickly, it can still cause a lot of damage to the liver – and to other parts of the body – while it's around. Additionally, if large quantities of alcohol are being consumed in a short time period, it can't all be metabolized quickly enough, leading to intoxication.

That's where the experimental new gel comes in.

Developed by scientists at Switzerland's ETH Zurich university, it consists of glucose, gold nanoparticles, and whey-protein-derived nanofibers covered with iron atoms. It can be consumed before, during or soon after drinking, as long as it's present while the alcohol is still in the intestinal tract.

Fortunately, the gel itself is digested quite slowly, so it remains in the tract long enough to get its job done. That job begins with the glucose and gold particles reacting together inside the body, producing hydrogen peroxide. The hydrogen peroxide in turn triggers a series of enzymatic reactions – boosted by the iron atoms – which convert any alcohol that may be present directly into acetic acid. This happens before the alcohol has a chance to enter the bloodstream.

In lab tests, the gel was prophylactically administered to mice that received a single dose of alcohol. Within 30 minutes, the blood alcohol levels of those mice dropped by 40% as compared to a control group that didn't receive the gel. That figure climbed to 56% after five hours.

It was also found that the treated mice had less acetaldehyde in their systems, plus they showed much less stress in their livers. Human trials are now being planned.

"It’s healthier not to drink alcohol at all," says the lead scientist, Prof. Raffaele Mezzenga. "However, the gel could be of particular interest to people who don’t want to give up alcohol completely, but don’t want to put a strain on their bodies and aren’t actively seeking the effects of alcohol."

A paper on the research was recently published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Source: ETH Zurich

Synthahol. Where's the fun in that?
Uncle Anonymous
On the plus side, an Anti-intoxicant gel in a pill form could:

- reduce the risk of accidents or injuries caused by impaired judgment or coordination due to intoxication from alcohol,

- be used as a part of a harm reduction strategy, helping them avoid the negative health consequences associated with excessive alcohol consumption,

- mitigate the social and legal consequences of intoxication, such as impaired relationships, legal troubles, or damage to one's reputation, and,

- give people the ability to quickly sober up if they find themselves in a situation where they need to be clear-headed and alert.

But, the Anti-intoxicant gel could also suck all the fun out of having a night out with the guy. ☹️
Will the pain killing properties of alcohol still be present? Somehow I think not...Sometimes I have a couple of drinks to loosen up and make my back feel better...would it also mitigate the caloric consumption? I drink gin and tonic, and it's mostly the tonic that puts the pounds on,but alcohol itself has calories as well...and as another reader pointed out, if you're going to drink and not get drunk, why not just drink soft drinks,,,as in, what's the point? ...I think it should be required of everyone imbibing alcohol at a sporting event...LOL
It would be good for people going on first dates. Sometimes the first dates go well and you have a little more than you should. For women, if the guy says "another?" they could say "yeah okay" knowing they wont get more drunk.

I actually dont drink, but i do know its made some social scenes a bit akward, like work stuff with people saying "ah go on, have one"... If i called over to a friend and they said "Great news, I am having a kid/getting married" I could grab a drink of this and just say "Well lets celebrate".