Professor David Nutt from the UK developed an antidote that reverses the negative effects of regular alcohol back in 1983. Alcarelle is the culmination of work done by him since then.
You had a crazy night of heavy drinking and partying. Come morning you have a massive hangover. You promise yourself once again that you will never touch a drop of alcohol even though deep down you know that's really not going to happen. Many people will identify with this all too common story. A researcher in the UK is working in getting to the market a synthetic form of alcohol that will have no effects such as nausea and hangovers. It is also not harmful to the body in any way, reports the Daily Mail.
Seems like a bit of a stretch? You should ask Professor David Nutt. Nutt's brush with the limelight is not new, although quite infamously. A few years ago when he was still a government adviser, he was famously kicked out of his job for controversially claiming that alcohol and horse riding were more dangerous than drugs. However, a year later, he backed his statements up with a study published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet. The study said that that alcohol was indeed more harmful to society than crack or heroin. Talk about revenge being served cold. If Professor Nutt's ability to get back at his detractors is anything to go by, then we think he might be in line to giving the world his product very soon.
He claims that it will take at least five years for the product to be within the reach of the public. He and his team have self-tested this synthetic alcohol which he calls 'Alcaralle' and well, they are still alive and telling us about its possible benefits. He claims synthetic alcohol will make one drunk but without the nasty side effects that regular alcohol is usually associated with. The product is one step closer to being sold in bars and clubs after several years of research, led by Professor Nutt.
Back in 1983 when Nutt was still a Ph.D. student, he researched the effect of alcohol on the brain. Doing this he discovered an antidote to reverse drunkenness. However, this antidote could cause seizures when taken sober and so it was too dangerous for clinical use. Since then, Professor Nutt has been figuring out how to stimulate the Gaba (a class of receptors in the brain) in the same way alcohol does. It's no wonder that now, after years of research, he is in the final stages of development of his wonder product.
Nutt says that it usually takes at least takes three years for all the certifications and regulations to be cleared before products in this category are released. However, his team expects the process to be longer because of the uniqueness of the product. Alcosynth is the name of the molecule that will give people the same fuzzy feeling of drinking booze without its side effects. "There will obviously be tested to check (whether) the molecule is safe. And we need to show that it’s different from alcohol," Nutt told The Guardian.
He added, "We will demonstrate that it doesn’t produce toxicity as alcohol does. Alcohol binds to all 15 different Gaba receptor subtypes. Which of these can be targeted to induce tipsiness without the side effects. We know where in the brain alcohol has its "good" effects and "bad" effects, and what particular receptors mediate that – Gaba, glutamate and other ones, such as serotonin and dopamine. The effects of alcohol are complicated but … you can target the parts of the brain you want to target."
Alcarelle, according to Nutt, will have a cap so that it will be physically impossible to get out of control when drinking. At the same time, it will also not be toxic to the liver or any other part of the body. Once taken the high of the synthetic alcohol will take only 45 minutes to wear off. The global drinks analyst at Mintel, Jonny Forsyth, said the invention was groundbreaking, "It's much cooler to be healthy, but it’s also about control. Something that would automatically control their drinking would be very appealing."
For those who wish to bid goodbye to their favorite drinks, we say - don't worry. Alcarelle will not be sold as a separate product, rather it will be sold to the alcohol industry as an active ingredient to be put into their own drinks. Professor Nutt and his business partner, David Orren, have been attempting to raise £20million (around $25 million) from investors. Professor Nutt said, "The industry knows alcohol is a toxic substance. The safe limit of alcohol, if you apply food standards criteria, would be one glass of wine a year." He also believes alcohol won't exist in its current form by 2050. More than one in ten deaths of people in their 40s are from liver disease, most of them from alcohol-related liver disease. Per year, alcohol-related deaths account for around 7,700 deaths in the UK and 88,000 in the U.S.