Happy New Year’s — and cheers to your good health!
If you have a drink (or two) too many tonight, the good news is tomorrow’s hangover can be cured.
That’s not something you’re likely to hear from most doctors. In fact, their hangover “advice” is to avoid drinking in the first place.
But most people enjoy raising a glass or two during the holidays and when they’re celebrating.
I know I do… And the latest research finds that having a couple of drinks can help you live longer.1
The study found that drinking up to three glasses of wine or beer a week is linked to the lowest mortality rates.
Did you know…
- Drinking 12 to 35 grams of alcohol each day reduces the likelihood of cancer by 65% for men and 60% for women.2
- Drinking a glass of beer will lower your chance of heart disease by up
- Light-to-moderate beer drinking may reduce the risk of stroke in women by 20%.4
- Men who have 1 to 6 drinks a week have an average of 20% lower risk of death from all causes than those who don’t drink at all.5
But once you’re beyond your 20s or 30s, the chances are you can’t drink the way you used to — and hangovers become increasingly brutal, even though you’re drinking far less.
It’s a sad fact of aging… As you get older, your body becomes more sensitive to alcohol. You metabolize alcohol more slowly, and you also have less water in your body.
That means when you consume just a few glasses of wine, you’ll have a higher percentage of alcohol in your blood than a younger person drinking the same amount.
You see, ethanol — the alcohol in your drinks — is a toxic chemical that causes your body to dehydrate. It can also trigger an inflammatory response in your gut, kidneys, pancreas and liver.
But the worst hangover symptoms don’t come from dehydration, or even the ethanol itself. Instead, they’re your body’s attempt to fight the presence of ethanol in your bloodstream with a chemical that’s even more toxic.
You see, your body initially reacts to alcohol by sending squadrons of free radicals to neutralize the danger.
This works — but only to a point.
The problem is that if you keep on drinking, the free radicals keep mobilizing — so now you’ve got rogue killers charging around your body, just spoiling for a fight.6
In a desperate effort to control this onslaught of free radicals, your liver makes a super-toxin called acetaldehyde. Its job is to break down the alcohol into water and carbon dioxide, before it’s flushed out of your system.
However, this poisonous biochemical byproduct of alcohol is estimated to be between 10 and 30 times as toxic as alcohol itself.7
It’s so toxic, it doesn’t stay in your body for long, and is mostly gone by the time your hangover begins.
But studies now show that the lingering toxic after-effects of this chemical on your central nervous system are the real cause of the “general misery” that comes with hangovers…8
The drowsiness, concentration problems, dry mouth, dizziness, gastrointestinal complaints, even the sweating, nausea, vomiting, headaches, rapid heartbeat, flushing and anxiety.
Try My Morning-after Cocktail Cure
A certain member of my staff is well-known at the clinic for his morning-after Myers’ cocktail.
Hangover cures have been around for as long as humans have been drinking alcohol.
But there’s only one I know will work every time. It’s called the Myers’ cocktail and I’ve been providing it to patients (and my staff) at my clinic for years.
A Myers’ cocktail typically contains a potent mix of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium and a B-vitamin complex. It’s specially designed to boost your immune system and restore your energy levels — and it has truly worked wonders for many of my patients.
Here at the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine, we add another powerful ingredient into the Myers’ mix — glutathione, the vital protein, antioxidant and detoxifying agent.
Glutathione is a critical part of your body’s natural system to ward off disease.
But it’s also a critical way to break down acetaldehyde and clear it out of your body.
Unfortunately, your liver’s stores of glutathione quickly run out when you consume larger amounts of alcohol. And that leaves acetaldehyde in your body for a long period of time.
Replenishing your glutathione levels up is vital to reducing the effects of a hangover.
A Myers’ cocktail treatment takes about an hour. If you’d like to learn more about our Myers’ plus glutathione cocktail, please call my staff at 561-784-7852.
Increase Glutathione Levels before You Imbibe
There are steps you can take to increase your glutathione before you raise your glass. Here’s what I recommend:
- Eat these before you go out. The most natural way to build more glutathione in your body is eating foods high in glycine and cysteine — two of the three amino acids that make glutathione. Meat, eggs and fish are your best sources. But you can also get glycine and cysteine from yogurt and sunflower seeds.
- Add the third amino acid. Glutamine is the third amino acid you use to make glutathione, and your digestive system relies on it. You make glutamine from another amino acid, glutamate, which powers the cells of your gastrointestinal tract.
And did you know that the friendly little defenders in your gut called “microflora” help turn glutamine into glutathione? That’s because these flora help you make a kind of vitamin B3 called niacin, which helps the conversion.
Like any amino acid, meat is your best source for glutamate. But you can also get it from raw spinach.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Kunzmann AT, et al. “The association of lifetime alcohol use with mortality and cancer risk in older adults: A cohort study.” PLOS Med. 2018;15(6):e1002585.
2. Kontou N, et al. “Alcohol consumption and colorectal cancer in a Mediterranean population: A case-control study.” Dis Colon Rectum. 2012;55(6):703-710.
3. Costanzo S, et al. “Wine, beer or spirit drinking in relation to fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events: A meta-analysis.” Eur J Epidemiol. 2011;26(11):833-850.
4. Stampfer M, et al.“A prospective study of moderate alcohol consumption and the risk of coronary disease and stroke in women.” N Engl J Med. 1988;319(5):267-273.
5. Gaziano J, et al. “Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption and mortality in the Physicians’ Health Study enrollment cohort.” J Am Coll Cardiol. 2000;35(1):96-105.
6. Wu D, et al. "Alcohol, oxidative stress, and free radical damage." National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Oct 2004.
7. Stromberg J. "Your Complete Guide to the Science of Hangovers. Smithsonian.com. Dec 31, 2013
8. Eriksson CJ. “The role of acetaldehyde in the actions of alcohol.” Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2001;25(5 Suppl ISBRA):15S-32S.