Dihydromyricetin

Dihydromyricetin is a natural supplement derived from the hovenia dulcis tree. Used for centuries in Asia, Dihydromyricetin has a potent anti-alcohol intoxication effect, and is extremely effective at preventing hangovers. [1][2] In addition to these benefits, it has been shown to dramatically reduce the negative health impact of alcohol consumption. This is due to its neuro and hepa-protective properties. [3][4][5][6][7][8]

Dihydromyricetin

Benefits:

  • Prevents alcohol intoxication [1][2]
  • Lowers BAC and improves metabolism of alcohol. [2]
  • Prevents hangovers. [1][2]
  • Lowers symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. [1][2]
  • Neuroprotective, protects the brain from oxidative stress. [3][4][5]
  • Hepaprotective, prevents and helps reverse liver damage. [6][7][8]
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What Is Dihydromyricetin?

Dihydromyricetin (DHM) is a supplement extracted from the Oriental Raisin Tree. (Hovenia Dulcis) It has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine as a hangover cure and intoxication blocker, but has recently begun to gain popularity in the West after a 2012 study which concluded that is has significant potential in treating alcohol dependence. [1] While still relatively unknown in the USA, its popularity as a way to prevent hangovers has been slowly increasing in the US.

How Does Dihydromyricetin Work?

Dihydromyricetin has a number of different effects and health benefits, and accomplishes these through a few different mechanisms of action. Below is how it accomplishes it’s primary benefits.

Dihydromyricetin as a “Sober Pill”

NOTE: DHM is not an instant cure for drunkenness, and should not be used as an excuse to drink and drive, or to drink irresponsibly.

Studies have proven that taking DHM helps counteract many of the harmful effects associated with drunkenness such as slurred speech and poor judgement [1], and research has even suggested it can help reduce blood alcohol content. [2]. It has two main mechanisms of action that cause these benefits:

  • It blocks alcohol’s effect on your GABAa receptors, preventing the increased levels of GABA from causing the negative symptoms commonly associated with drunkenness. [1]
  • It causes the liver to metabolize alcohol more quickly, lowering your BAC and causing you to be fully sober more quickly. [2]

Dihydromyricetin as a Hangover Prevention Method

Many people report that taking Dihydromyricetin after a long night of drinking allows them to wake up with virtually no hangover. While there haven’t been clinical studies performed to prove this effect, the anecdotal evidence behind it is strong. It’s ability to prevent hangovers stems from it’s ability to fight two of the main three causes of a hangover:

  • Overstimulation of GABA Receptors: One main cause of alcohol is that it increases the levels of GABA in the brain. This causes the GABA receptors to become overstimulated. As alcohol exits the bloodstream it takes these receptors time before they return to their normal sensitivity. DHM prevents alcohol from influencing GABA receptors. When consumed, this effect is what allows DHM to act as a “sober pill”. It also has the effect of halting on alcohol’s strain on the GABA receptors earlier than normal. By the time one wakes up their GABA receptors will be much closer to normal sensitivity than they would be if they didn’t take the DHM.
  • Acetaldehyde Accumulation: As the liver metabolizes alcohol, a toxic compound known as acetaldehyde is created as a byproduct. Acetaldehyde is responsible for many of the negative symptoms associated with hangovers. DHM helps the liver metabolize alcohol faster and more efficiently [2], allowing it to quickly break the acetaldehyde down into harmless acetic acid.

Dihydromyricetin’s Neuro and Hepaprotective Properties

Dihydromyricetin is a potent anti-oxidant, and has been shown to prevent a great deal of damage caused by oxidative stress to both the brain [3][4][5], and liver [6][7][8]. Though these studies haven’t directly addressed damage caused by alcohol, its ability to improve the liver’s ability to metabolize alcohol, and its antioxidant effects suggest that DHM has the potential to offset some of the liver damage caused by heavy drinking.

Dihydromyricetin Dosage Information

When taken for hangover prevention, a dose of 300 mg is effective in nearly everyone. Some people have had to increase this dose slightly if they have consumed over 6 drinks. This dose is also effective if DHM is taken before drinking as a way to prevent drunkenness.

Safety and Side Effects of Dihydromyricetin

Dihydromyricetin is extremely safe, and doses of up to 3.42 grams have been found to present no side effects. [9] This is roughly 10x the normal suggested dose. Indeed, the greatest risk posed by Dihydromyricetin is people taking it as a license to drink irresponsibly or to think that it will instantly sober them up enough to drive. Never use DHM as an excuse to be stupid.

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Cited Studies

1. Dihydromyricetin as a Novel Anti-Alcohol Intoxication Medicine
2. Influence of Hovenia dulcis on alcohol concentration in blood and activity of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) of animals after drinking
3. Y. Zhang et al.: Antioxidation properties and mechanism of action of dihydromyricetin from Ampelopsis grossedentata. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica, 38 (4) (2003), pp. 241–244
4. Z. Zhang et al.: Protective effect of dihydromyricetin in oxidative damage on erythrocytes and related materials. Journal of Hunan Normal University, 2 (2007), pp. 99–102
5. G. He et al.: Studies on the effect of dihydromyricetin on antilipid-peroxidation. China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica, 28 (12) (2003), pp. 1188–1190
6. Pharmacological potential of ampelopsin in Rattan tea
7. Hepatoprotective effect of Hovenia dulcis THUNB. on experimental liver injuries induced by carbon tetrachloride or D-galactosamine/lipopolysaccharide.
8. Effect of juice and fermented vinegar from Hovenia dulcis peduncles on chronically alcohol-induced liver damage in mice.
9. Yang XM, Wang XH, Chen LF, Wang XQ. Effects of dihydromyricetin on tumor necrosis factor and NF-kappaB p65 of RAU rats. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2012 Sep;37(17):2612-7.

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