Science

What makes Thrive+® After-Alcohol Aid™ so effective.

Thrive+® and Alcohol's Negative Effects: An Intro

What are alcohol’s negative effects and why do they make you feel so bad the next day?

Most people think that alcohol’s negative effects are simply dehydration. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In “Alcohol Hangover: Mechanisms and Mediators,” researchers Swift and Davidson point out at least seven causes that in conjunction with one another add up to the various negative effects of alcohol and the reason why you feel less than 100% the following day.

These are: “1) dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, 2) gastrointestinal disturbances, 3) blood sugar imbalance, 4) sleep and biological rhythm disturbances (such as the liver not being able to perform normal duties), 5) alcohol withdrawal, 6) alcohol and acetaldehyde toxicity, and 7) congeners/oxidants in the alcohol itself.” Others could be added to this list as well, such as vitamin deficiencies.

Why you feel bad is not the result of a single cause such as dehydration, but are the culmination of the above causes being added together to cause negative effects in proportion to the amount of alcohol consumed. 

Thrive+® is covered by granted patent US 9,603,830 B2. “Compositions and methods for preventing and recovery from detrimental effects of alcohol consumption” (Granted March 28th, 2017). Within the patent, a study shows that users of Thrive+® After-Alcohol Aid™ alone reported 50 percentage point reductions in next-day symptoms. It can be read here.

Below are the ingredients in the patented Thrive+® formula and how they work together to reduce alcohol’s negative effects.

Dihydromyricetin (DHM)

Dihydromyricetin (DHM) is the main ingredient in Thrive+® After-Alcohol Aid™. DHM is the active ingredient of the Holvenia Dulcis plant. Though the plant was used a traditional hangover tea in Asian countries for over a millennia, only recently was its active ingredient isolated and introduced to the modern world.

Dihydromyricetin has been shown to reduce alcohol’s negative effects through multiple routes, these are: 1) preventing short-term alcohol withdrawal, 2) increasing alcohol and acetaldehyde metabolism, and 3) protecting against alcohol-induced liver damage. These routes with their corresponding studies are listed below:

 

  1. Preventing short-term alcohol withdrawal: A main cause of hangovers is short-term alcohol withdrawal. When alcohol, a depressant, leaves the system following the consumption of alcohol, individuals go into a state of hyper-excitability caused by alcohol withdrawal. This hyper-excitability, or withdrawal, causes the inability to enter restful sleep, general discomfort, sensitivity to light and sound, the inability to focus, and general lethargy. DHM ameliorates short-term alcohol/hyper-excitability.
    • Studies: Shen, Yi, et al. “Dihydromyricetin as a novel anti-alcohol intoxication medication.”The Journal of Neuroscience 32.1 (2012): 390-401.
  2. Increases acetaldehyde metabolism in liver: The human body cannot directly clear alcohol. It must first break alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is 20 times more toxic than alcohol itself, and then clear this acetaldehyde from the system. Because of the toxic nature of acetaldehyde, the amount and length of acetaldehyde exposure can add to severity of a hangover. DHM enhances the ability to eliminate acetaldehyde via enhancement of acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). 
    • Studies: Kim, K. H., et al. “Hepatic detoxification activity and reduction of serum alcohol concentration of Hovenia dulcis Thunb from Korea and China.” Korean J Med Crop Sci 8 (2000): 225-233.
    • Chen, S. H., et al. “[Influence of Hovenia dulcis on alcohol concentration in blood and activity of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) of animals after drinking].” Zhongguo Zhong yao za zhi= Zhongguo zhongyao zazhi= China journal of Chinese materia medica 31.13 (2006): 1094-1096.
  3. Protective effect against alcohol-induced liver damage: Alcohol has adverse effects on the liver due to it having to process large amounts of toxins. Over six weeks, groups given Holvenia Dulcis showed significantly less liver damage when injected with alcohol than groups not receiving Holvenia Dulcis Extract. The Holvenia Dulcis plant has a protective effect against alcohol-induced liver damage. 
    • Studies: Xiang, Jinle, et al. “Effect of juice and fermented vinegar from Hovenia dulcis peduncles on chronically alcohol-induced liver damage in mice.” Food & function3.6 (2012): 628-634.

 

Note: This is only a handful of the available studies. Positive ones are being added to the academic literature every day.

Milk Thistle (Silymarin)

Milk Thistle (active ingredient Silymarin) has traditionally been used for years as an herbal way to promote liver function and repair.

In research, Silymarin opposes alcohol-induced oxidative stress in livers. Preventative use is more effective than curative treatment.

Studies:

  • Lieber, Charles S., et al. “Silymarin retards the progression of alcohol-induced hepatic fibrosis in baboons.” Journal of clinical gastroenterology 37.4 (2003): 336-339.
  • Song, Zhenyuan, et al. “Silymarin Protects Against Acute Ethanol‐Induced Hepatotoxicity in Mice.” Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 30.3 (2006): 407-413.
  • Das, Subir Kumar, and D. M. Vasudevan. “Protective effects of silymarin, a milk thistle (Silybium marianum) derivative on ethanol-induced oxidative stress in liver.”Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics 43.5 (2006): 306.
  • Wellington, Keri, and Blair Jarvis. “Silymarin: a review of its clinical properties in the management of hepatic disorders.” BioDrugs 15.7 (2001): 465-489.

These studies also reveal that Silymarin supplementation increases glutathione levels in the liver. Glutathione is used in the process to eliminate acetaldehyde.

 

Note: This is only a handful of the available studies. Positive ones are being added to the academic literature every day.

Prickly Pear (Opuntia ficus indica)

Prickly Pear (Opuntia ficus indica) is a known anti-oxidant and has been found to diminish an over-reactive inflammatory response to stressful stimuli.

In studies, Prickly Pear reduces some of alcohol’s negative effects via inhibiting over-reactive inflammatory response to alcohol.

Studies: 

  • Wiese, Jeff, et al. “Effect of Opuntia ficus indica on symptoms of the alcohol hangover.” Archives of Internal Medicine 164.12 (2004): 1334-1340.

 

Note: This is only a handful of the available studies. Positive ones are being added to the academic literature every day.

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is known to be the biological precursor to glutathione and can reduce alcohol-induced oxidative stress and liver toxicity.

In studies, NAC has been shown to significantly reduce the liver damage caused by alcohol consumption. This is done by its ability to reduce alcohol-induced stress and liver toxicity.

Studies: 

  • Ozaras, Resat, et al. “N-acetylcysteine attenuates alcohol-induced oxidative stess in rats.” World journal of gastroenterology: WJG 9.4 (2003): 791-794.
  • Jaya, D. S., J. Augustine, and V. P. Menon. “Protective role of N-acetylcysteine against alcohol and paracetamol induced toxicity.” Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry 9.2 (1994): 64-71.
  • Seiva, Fábio Rodrigues Ferreira, et al. “Effects of N-acetylcysteine on alcohol abstinence and alcohol-induced adverse effects in rats.” Alcohol 43.2 (2009): 127-135.

 

Note: This is only a handful of the available studies. Positive ones are being added to the academic literature every day.

Ginger Root Extract

Ginger Root Extract has traditionally been used as an herb to mitigate stomach pains and nausea. Today, even products such as GU Energy, a widely-use carbohydrate gel consumed during triathlons and other distance events, contains Ginger Root to mitigate upset stomach and nausea during competition.

In clinical studies, Ginger Root Extract has been shown to mitigate both nausea and stomach discomfort that mainly originates from the gastrointestinal system. These studies reveal that it is comparably effective to leading nausea drugs such as Dramamine® in such cases. (Note: Nausea and stomach discomfort originating from the gastrointestinal system means situations such as pregnancy or hangovers, not as much from motion sickness.)

Studies:

  • Willetts, Karen E., Abie Ekangaki, and John A. Eden. “Effect of a ginger extract on pregnancy‐induced nausea: A randomised controlled trial.” Australian and New Zealand journal of obstetrics and gynaecology 43.2 (2003): 139-144.
  • Lien, Han-Chung, et al. “Effects of ginger on motion sickness and gastric slow-wave dysrhythmias induced by circular vection.” American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 284.3 (2003): G481-G489.

 

Note: This is only a handful of the available studies. Positive ones are being added to the academic literature every day.

Electrolytes

Electrolytes are essential to normal human functioning. They are responsible for hydration, muscular contractions, neuronal signaling in the brain, etc. As normally thought of by the general population, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances are in fact some of alcohol’s negative effects and a reason why you don’t feel as good the day following alcohol consumption.

Electrolyte intake following the usage of alcohol can aid in restoring electrolyte imbalances. 

Studies: 

  • Swift, Robert, and Dena Davidson. “Alcohol hangover.” Alcohol Health Res World22 (1998): 54-60.

 

Note: This is only a handful of the available studies. Positive ones are being added to the academic literature every day.

B, C, and E Vitamins

Vitamins are the building blocks of the human body. Normally, healthy diets and multivitamin supplementation can give individuals all that they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, studies reveal that alcohol intake can reduce absorption of these crucial vitamins. Deficits in vitamins can lead to various health problems such as a lack of energy and weakened immune response.

Supplementation of vitamins during or after drinking alcohol can increase total vitamin absorption and negate this alcohol-induced problem. It can also increase physiological and psychological functions surrounding alcohol usage. 

Studies: 

  • Lecomte, Edith, et al. “Effect of alcohol consumption on blood antioxidant nutrients and oxidative stress indicators.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 60.2 (1994): 255-261.
  • KELLY, MICHAEL, ANNA‐LISA MYRSTEN, and LEONARD GOLDBERG. “Intravenous vitamins in acute alcoholic intoxication: effects on physiological and psychological functions.” British Journal of Addiction to Alcohol & Other Drugs66.1 (1971): 19-30.
  • Fairfield, Kathleen M., and Robert H. Fletcher. “Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults: scientific review.” Jama 287.23 (2002): 3116-3126.
  • Swift, Robert, and Dena Davidson. “Alcohol hangover.” Alcohol Health Res World22 (1998): 54-60.

 

Note: This is only a handful of the available studies. Positive ones are being added to the academic literature every day.