Tuesday, May 22, 2007

5 Ways to Hang Over cures

Hangover cures are the sort of thing that would be a nice addition to a care package being sent to a collage student. Or it might be a good gift to give to your graduating senior on graduation morning. I know a lot of graduating senors that will need a hang over cure the next morning. Come to think of it there have been a few new years days when I could have used this.

The hangover Cure works in many ways:
  • purges the body of toxins that alcohol introduces;
  • rehydrates the body, rebalancing electrolytes;
  • restores vitamins, minerals and nutrients, such as sodium, potassium and calcium depleted by alcohol consumption;
  • supports the natural metabolism of alcohol;
  • helps to alkalize the blood, which may have been affected by the acidity of alcohol; and
  • addresses the root causes of a hangover rather than masking its effects with aspirin or calcium carbonate.

Nicknamed "the after drinking drink," The Cure is a convenient, powdered mix enclosed in an airtight package and dissolvable in 20 ounces of water. For best results, it should be taken an hour after the last alcoholic beverage is consumed. Its effectiveness rests on the unique and proprietary blend of ingredients working in sync with water to alleviate the symptoms of a hangover and to rehydrate the body

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Not to your health: new mechanism proposed for alcohol-related tumors

A glass of wine may be good for the heart-but may promote some cancers. Scientists have now figured out what's behind that sobering observation. New findings suggest that alcohol encourages blood vessels to infiltrate and nourish nascent tumors.

Researchers have long known that drinking alcohol is a risk factor for stomach, liver, and breast cancers, among others. Previous studies prompted a host of theories--for example, that heavy drinking displaces other nutrients in the diet or that acetaldehyde, a metabolite of alcohol, acts as a carcinogen--but they haven't clarified the alcohol-cancer connection.

Seeking an explanation, Jian-Wei Gu and his colleagues at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson inoculated chick embryos with human fibrosarcoma cells, derived from a type of bone cancer. Since chick embryos support human-cell growth and can be monitored through a window cut into their shells, they are frequently used for studying cancers that grow in people.

Gu's group dosed some of the embryos for 9 days with an amount of alcohol corresponding to about two glasses of wine a day in people. Other embryos received a saline solution instead. They were all then observed for 17 days.

In the embryos given saline, only a few new blood vessels infiltrated the tumors, which grew only slightly. However, tumors in the alcohol-treated embryos developed an extensive network of blood vessels, a process called angiogenesis, and doubled in size.

Further examination showed that cancer cells in the alcohol-dosed embryos, unlike their saline-only counterparts, secreted a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor. This protein, Gu's team notes in the Jan. 15 Cancer, probably signaled blood vessels to grow into the embryos' tumors.

Gu says that a similar mechanism might encourage the growth of tumors that spontaneously arise in people. The immune system regularly kills off small tumors before they acquire blood vessels. "Without blood vessels, cancer can't grow very fast" he says. "If something [such as alcohol] promotes tumor angiogenesis, it's a very important mechanism for cancer growth."

Judah Folkman, a cancer researcher at Harvard Medical School in Boston, says that Gu's hypothesis "sounds logical" but must be tested in people. If it proves correct, the finding may put a damper on current recommendations to have a daily drink to promote heart health (SN: 3/8/03, p. 155). "The question is, At what level would it be counterproductive for people who are at risk for cancer?" says Folkman.

For now, Gu proposes a prudent approach to drinking: "If you're healthy and of legal age, drinking a little bit is fine. But we believe if a person has a high risk of cancer, they shouldn't drink."

COPYRIGHT Science Service, Inc.


Thursday, May 3, 2007

10 Fast Facts about Alcohol

Researchers at the University of Utah have noted an association between a genetic defect linked to colon cancer, called microsatellite instability, and long-time alcohol use. Persons in the study who drank an average of 7.5 ounces of wine, 35 ounces of beer, or 3.75 ounces of hard liquor per week over 20 years were 60 percent more likely to develop a tumor in the colon with the microsatellite instability defect than those without the defect.

The findings suggest that alcohol may damage deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and that lifestyle factors can cause genetic changes.

(Source: International Journal of Cancer )

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University propose that the fatty livers in some obese people may be caused by alcohol generated within the intestine.

The study suggests that microorganisms that normally live in the intestine produce ethyl alcohol, which flows to the liver. Obesity is thought to slow intestinal motility and to enable bacterial growth, which increases production of alcohol and other noxious factors.

(Source: Gastroenterology)

People experience coordination impairment and reduced alertness with blood alcohol levels of 0.05. A 120-pound woman reaches 0.04 after drinking one 12-ounce beer. A 160-pound man reaches 0.05 after two beers.

(Source: University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center)

Taking an aspirin or other pain medication to prevent a hangover may actually make symptoms worse. Some evidence claims that aspirin interferes with the enzyme that breaks down alcohol, which may boost blood alcohol content and intensify alcohol's effects.

(Source: University of California-Berkeley Wellness Letter)

People older than age 65 who drank more than 15 drinks a week have a greater risk for brain shrinkage. A British survey states that men under the age of 35 and women younger than 55 who are light drinkers have a higher risk of death than those who do not drink. Alcohol-related deaths are thought to be the reason.

(Source: Journal of the American Heart Association)

People taking diuretics and some antibiotics, as well as individuals who drink heavily, are at an increased risk of magnesium deficiencies.

(Source: University of California-Berkeley.)

Acne rosacea is a common skin disorder that affects 13 million Americans. Patients experience flushing, broken blood vessels, or pustules on the cheeks, nose, and chin.

There is no cure for rosacea, but a dermatologist can provide topical or oral antibiotics to minimize symptoms. Alcohol, spicy foods, sun exposure, and rigorous exercise are thought to trigger outbreaks.

(Source: University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center)

A painful sore inside the mouth may be an early sign of mouth cancer. People who drink excessive amounts of alcohol or use any form of tobacco have a dramatically increased risk of oral cancer.

(Source: Mayo Clinic Health Letter)

It has been found that an insufficient supply of essential brain fats is likely to cause irreversible suboptimal brain development. Alcohol use is known to deplete the brain-essential fats, which can lead to serious problems, such as mood swings. Breast-fed babies have more essential brain fats in their bodies than bottle-fed babies and are more likely to perform better in reading, sentence completion, visual interpretation, nonverbal skills, and math tests.

(Sources: Holman, R.T., et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 1991; 88:4835-4839; Salem, N. In Spiller, J., ed. New Protective Roles for Selected Nutrients. New York: Alan R. Liss; 1989; and Gibson, R.A., et al. Lipids 1993;31[Suppl.]:177-181.)

According to a recent study at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, more than 75 percent of all esophageal and stomach cancers might be able to be prevented with healthful lifestyle changes such as losing weight, discontinuing smoking, adding fruits and vegetables to the diet, and reducing alcohol consumption.

Ondanestron, an anti-nausea drug given to people during chemotherapy treatments, has proved effective as a treatment for those with early-onset alcoholism and a history of antisocial behavior.

(Source: Harvard Mental Health Letter)

French winemakers used cow's blood as a clarifier before the process was banned in the late 1990's during the mad cow disease scare. There has been much debate over banning such wines.