Alcohol, even in small quantities, has three main negative effects:
1. Firstly, it damages the gut, which then triggers inflammation. To some extent this is
mitigated by not drinking on an empty stomach. Food will slow down the rate at which you absorb any alcohol and protect your gut lining from irritation. This could be something as simple as some peanuts with your pint or olives with your glass of wine. Even better is to eat a meal that combines protein and slow-releasing carbohydrate – for example, fish/rice meat/potatoes with vegetables – ideally ‘cruciferous' veg such as broccoli and kale which help liver detoxification. But what really protects the gut (and is destroyed by alcohol) is the amino acid glutamine, which directly nourishes and helps protect gut mucosal cells.
HAVE A TEASPOON (5 grams) OF GLUTAMINE POWDER in a glass of water before you go to sleep.
2. Secondly, during the liver’s detoxification of alcohol a toxin called acetaldehyde is created, which is what gives you many of the classic symptoms of a hangover. One measurable effect of curcumin, highly concentrated and bioavailable in Theracurmin, is its ability to detoxify alcohol. In the experiment below people were given a measured amount of alcohol, after which they either drank mineral water or were given Theracurmin (300mg – 30mg of curcumin). The Theracurmin cut the level of acetaldehyde by about a third, compared to drinking mineral water. (I would recommend both – Theracurmin and drinking water.)
TAKE 2 THERACURMIN (60mg of curcumin) DOUBLE STRENGTH CAPSULES
– which gives me 4 times the dose used in this experiment.
3. Thirdly, alcohol depletes vitamin C which is vital for reducing alcohol-induced oxidative stress in your liver. An animal study showed that vitamin C was more protective to the liver after alcohol exposure than silymarin (milk thistle) after exposure to alcohol. Zinc is also essential for the activity of the main enzyme that detoxifies alcohol, called alcohol dehydrogenase.
TAKE 2 GRAMS OF VITAMIN C with ZINC.
I take 2 of my vitamin C inc. zinc tablets before retiring with some water since keeping hydrated is itself a step in the right direction.
Detoxification of alcohol is also dependent on glutathione, or its precursor N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC). Both have been shown to improve the ability to detoxify alcohol and alcohol induces significant liver damage if the liver runs out of available glutathione. In fact, in cases of liver failure, NAC is given to ‘reload’ the liver’s ability to detoxify. Alcohol is detoxified by the same process as paracetamol so the combination of both really taxes the liver and is best avoided. B vitamins also help because another liver detoxification pathway involves methylation. SAM-e, the ultimate methylation nutrient, available over the counter in the US, but not in the EU, is also very liver protective. A good multivitamin and antioxidant supplement containing either glutathione or NAC therefore provide a background of healthy liver detoxification potential.
You will be amazed at how different you feel the next day! Of course, drinking too much is not a good idea but you might as well recover quickly when you do.
If you’d like to dig deeper read my special report The Truth About Alcohol
Visit HOLFORDirect.com home of GL friendly foods, supplements, books and tests.