Thanks Scientist! … New Hangover Cure
The ‘love’ hormone could be key to reducing the effects of alcohol consumption, according to a new study. Researchers found oxytocin prevents alcohol from getting into the areas of the brain that trigger drunken behaviour. These areas are known as the delta-subunit GABA-A receptors.
Lead author on the study is Dr Michael Bowen, from the University of Sydney says ‘Oxytocin prevents this effect to the point where we can’t tell from their behavior that the rats are actually drunk. It’s a truly remarkable effect.’
The sobering effect of oxytocin is yet to be tested on humans but researchers are already planning to carry out these studies in the near future.
‘The first step will be to ensure we have a method of drug delivery for humans that allows sufficient amounts of oxytocin to reach the brain,’ Dr Bowen said.
‘If we can do that, we suspect that oxytocin could also leave speech and cognition much less impaired after relatively high levels of alcohol consumption.’
But Dr Bowen warned this new research did not mean people could drink and drive with oxytocin in their system.
‘While oxytocin might reduce your level of intoxication, it won’t actually change your blood alcohol level,’ he said.
‘This is because the oxytocin is preventing the alcohol from accessing the sites in the brain that make you intoxicated, it is not causing the alcohol to leave your system any faster.’
Research performed by the Dr Bowen and his colleagues, along with other studies, have also found taking the ‘love’ or ‘cuddle’ hormone could reduce alcohol intake and cravings in both rats and humans.