Although DHM has been used for centuries for alcohol and other treatments, more recently studies have been conducted on mice, rats, and humans.
Rats and Mice
Researchers tested the gaba response in rats and mice in regards to DHM and gaba blocking. What they looked for was clumsiness, loss of coordination, social skills and cognitive skills. The first test was if they could right themselves after being placed on their backs in a v-shaped cradle and the second was their ability to solve a complex problem via a maze.
Researchers injected each rat with a dose of alcohol (EtOH) equivalent to a human drinking about 20 beers in two hours. The rats who did not receive DHM took an average of 70 minutes to right themselves. Conversely, the rats who received a milligram of DHM per kilo of body weight recovered in less than five minutes! The same injections were given to rats who then were set in a maze. Those without DHM behaved erratically, stumbling around and cowering in corners. Those given DHM showed as much inquisitiveness after five minutes as those without alcohol.
A third study tested the ability of DHM to reduce alcohol cravings. Rats were given a dose of alcohol. Some rats where then given a choice between sugar water and sugar water with alcohol, while others were given the same except the alcohol-sugar-water mix was laced with DHM. The rats without DHM laced alcohol bowls eventually built up a tolerance for alcohol and became increasingly addicted to it. Those given DHM laced alcohol drank less than ¼ than the alcohol-only rats. Eventually, they dropped down to a moderate intake and began preferring the plain sugar water over the alcohol after a period of seven weeks of DHM laced alcohol water.
Strangely enough, rats where then tested by injection with a chemical known as flumazenil. This drug is known to block receptors in the brain for the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid). Those injected with flumazenil lost all previously gained benefits of the DHM. Researchers concluded that the DHM was an effective sobering supplement due to its ability to stop alcohol from blocking GABA receptors.
“This supports other data that GABA receptors are key in the actions of alcohol and that targeting this interaction is a viable approach to reducing alcohol intake,” says David Nutt of Imperial College London, former head of the British government’s advisory committee on drugs.
“Let’s hope it’s safe to use in humans.”
98% pure dihydromyricetin was administered to humans at the dosage rate of 5mg. Alcohol was administered orally as vodka mixed with orange juice at the rate of 12.7ml per 220-pound 20-year-old male. The men were placed in a room with friends and acquaintances in a lab decorated to mimic living room setting, complete with food and a television.
The first test involved consumption of alcohol at the rate of seven doses followed by a 150mg dose of DHM. Within 30 minutes the test subject felt able to reason and within an hour felt completely sober, but still sleepy.
The second test involved ten doses of alcohol/EtOH followed by a 250mg dose of DHM. Within 30 minutes the test subject felt only vaguely better, within an hour noticed feelings of clarity, within 1.5 hours felt like they were sobering up, at two hours they felt clearer and better (blood alcohol test shows 0.03%), and finally 2.5 hours later, felt close to baseline and sober (blood alcohol test shows 0.01%).
The third test involved four doses of alcohol followed by 450mg of DHM. Within 30 minutes the test subject felt buzzed, but clear. At an hour they reported that DHM had greatly reduced their desire and capped it to four drinks. At only an hour later they felt completely sober and free from intoxication.
The fourth test involved six doses of alcohol followed by 450mg of DHM. After 30 minutes the test subject felt like they were sobering up. After an hour they felt completely sober. And at 1.3 hours later they felt hungry. Though at 1.5 hours they felt nauseated from eating.
The tests are conclusive that DHM does affect a persons ability to become intoxicated, desire alcohol, and sober up after alcohol consumption.
The biggest challenge is ascertaining the correct dose as it varied per person. It is noted that no side effects in mice, rats, or humans have been reported except the residual lessening desire to consume alcohol products. Which was a worry with researchers, who felt that such a product would induce people to drink more since they would not have to deal with the consequences of intoxication.