Make the Hangover go away with Cerebrafil

Your Brain on Alcohol: How Can You Make A Hangover Go Away

Has last night’s delight turned into this morning’s demon? How can alcohol, a simple molecule composed of only a few natural elements, create the havoc of a hangover? Most important, how can you make the hangover go away. 

Alcohol’s very simplicity (carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen) accounts for its unmatched affinity for the brain and its broad range of negative effects. A hangover is basically a milder version of the withdrawal symptoms suffered by alcoholics. It can persist for 24 hours or more.

You may just feel a bit irritable and overly sensitive, fatigued or muddled. Your muscles might ache or even tremor. You could have a mild or a killer headache. Your stomach could be upset or you could become nauseous. Worst case scenario: a person who passes out from nausea can die of asphyxiation.

One thing for sure, you will be dehydrated after drinking alcohol.  The cure for a hangover is plenty of water and Cerebrafil.  You may avoid a hangover altogether by consuming DHA as a pure Triglyceride prior to consuming alcohol.

Alcohol and Brain Fats
Alcohol decreases levels of DHA in the brain, a specialized fatty acid essential to healthy brain cell membranes, which are rich in DHA. According to research by Dr. R.J. Pawlosky at the National Institutes of Health, alcohol not only appears to dissolve the DHA already in the brain’s membranes, it also blocks the enzyme that manufactures DHA from dietary fats. This is not good, because lower concentrations of DHA in the nervous system are associated with a loss of nervous system function. 

This same enzyme (D6D) blocked by alcohol is also responsible for manufacturing gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which in turn makes the crucial anti-inflammatory PGE1 prostaglandins. When PGE1 levels are low, the inflammatory prostaglandin PGE2 dominates — which is often the norm today and why so many people need to take over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. (D6D is also inhibited by stress, aging, trans fatty acids, viruses, and common medications.)

Water Works
The fundamental cure for a hangover is time and rest, plus plenty of pure water. Drinking alcohol upsets the body’s fluid balance as far more water is lost than taken in. When the brain becomes dehydrated, its outer covering (dura matter) can temporarily shrink and cause the painful sensation of a headache. Alcoholics can have shrunken internal areas of the brain.

Marrku Linnoila, a researcher at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, thinks the loss of electrolytes may contribute to hangover symptoms. He suggests replacing these electrolytes with a nightcap of one of the sports drinks that contain fresh supplies of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, as well as water.

Bull’s Eye
There are some nutritional approaches that can intervene to prevent or diminish your hangover. If traditional folk remedies and modern hangover formulas work, it’s because they support the body’s natural alcohol detoxification process.

A classic remedy for hangover called the Bull’s Eye is simply a glass of orange juice containing a raw egg. (Warning: raw eggs may contain salmonella, so use soft-boiled ones.) The juice supplies vitamin C and fructose; the egg is especially high in the sulfur-containing amino acids, cysteine and taurine.

Your liver needs cysteine to detoxify acetaldehyde, the first byproduct of its breakdown of alcohol. Acetaldehyde is approximately 30 times more toxic than alcohol. Used in the manufacture of adhesives and plastics, it is a close chemical cousin of formaldehyde. (Did somebody say embalming fluid?)

A powerful free radical generator, acetaldehyde is a potent neurotoxin that crosses your blood-brain barrier and is the primary culprit in a hangover. Acetaldehyde causes inflammation and depression, and interferes with energy production in the brain. It disrupts cellular function through its reactive tendency to cross-link molecules. (A good example of cross-linked tissue is the leathery skin of elderly alcoholics who spend a lot of time outdoors).

While the liver quickly converts the ethyl alcohol you drink into acetaldehyde, it is much slower at converting the acetaldehyde into acetic acid (which eventually is broken down into carbon dioxide and water). One of the biggest factors in a person’s susceptibility to alcohol damage is their enzymatic ability to detoxify acetaldehyde. The longer acetaldehyde remains in the body, the worse the hangover. Furthermore, enzyme activity and liver function tend to diminish with age, disease, poor nutrition, and alcoholism.

Nutrients that Counteract Acetaldehyde
Important research on acetaldehyde was done in the 1970s at the National Cancer Institute by Herbert Sprince, M.D. When he pretreated rats with large doses of vitamin B1, vitamin C, and cysteine, they were able to survive a normally lethal dose of acetaldehyde.

Cysteine is available in supplement form, but to be effective it needs plenty of vitamin C. Steven Wm. Fowkes, editor of Smart Drug News, has found a combination that he says works remarkably well. “I use capsules (because they dissolve fast) containing 200 mg cysteine plus 600 mg of vitamin C (with or without extra B-1). I take one before I start drinking, one with each additional drink and one when IЖm finished.” (Vitamin E and selenium also support cysteine’s action.)

Your liver also needs cysteine (plus glutamic acid and glycine) to make glutathione, a crucial protective compound whose deficiency first affects the nervous system, causing hangover-like symptoms.

Taurine is another important amino acid that may help hangovers. Your liver makes taurine from cysteine, but because the cysteine is busy detoxing acetaldehyde, taurine may be in short supply. Taurine is an antioxidant and has a protective effect on the brain, particularly when the brain is dehydrated.

Taurine is used to counteract anxiety, hyperactivity, and even to treat seizures. It helps calm overexcited brain cells that are withdrawing from the effects of excess alcohol. Studies show that taurine levels naturally increase in the brain in response to both acute and chronic exposure to ethanol.

Do B Do B Do
Acetaldehyde rapidly destroys vitamin B1, thiamine. Originally known as the nerve vitamin, thiamine is crucial to brain function. Poor nutrition combined with a chronic B1 deficiency induced by excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to a condition known as Korsakoff’s psychosis, which involves memory loss similar to Alzheimer’s disease.

Durk Pearson at Life Enhancement tells how, when vitamin B1 became available in an injectable form earlier this century, interns discovered they could treat a hangover by injecting large doses of it.

Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) aids the body in alcohol detoxification. Known as the anti-stress vitamin, B5 can become depleted in the detoxification of acetaldehyde. A deficiency of pantothenic acid may contribute to the hangover symptoms of headache, nausea, and fatigue.

All the B vitamins need regular replenishing — more so after drinking alcohol. Try taking a B-complex before, during, and as soon after a drinking session as possible. The same goes with vitamin C, which is perhaps why tomatoes are a common ingredient in many hangover remedies. Tomatoes are high in B vitamins and in vitamin C, the body’s primary antioxidant nutrient.

An Oxidant Waiting to Happen
After alcohol turns to acetaldehyde, the production of free radicals increases. These highly reactive forms of oxygen damage the structural fats that give your brain cell membranes their strength and fluidity. Brain function is compromised depending on how much alcohol is consumed as well as for how long one has been a drinker.

To combat the destructive action of free radical oxidants, your brain must have an ample supply of antioxidants. Basically, antioxidants are chemicals that oxygen finds more attractive than the structural components of your cells. Antioxidants sacrifice themselves to preserve your body parts.

In addition to their vitamin C content, orange juice and tomato juice also contain a good dose of potassium, a mineral that is lost during urination when drinking. Low levels of potassium can contribute to feelings of weakness and shakiness. This may be the basis of a Chinese folk remedy for hangovers that says to boil a couple of banana peels in water and drink the liquid.

Folk Remedies Fight Free Radicals
Perhaps vitamin C has something to do with the Ayurvedic remedy of drinking fresh orange with a teaspoon of lime juice and a pinch of cumin stirred in . . . or the Puerto Rican folk remedy for hangovers that recommends rubbing a quarter lemon into each armpit. Chinese remedies include drinking fresh mandarin orange or tangerine juice.

Another Chinese folk cure is to eat 8 to 10 fresh strawberries, all at once. In addition to vitamin C and minerals, strawberries contain significant amounts of another antioxidant, lycopene.

Tomatoes are also very high in lycopene, the protective plant compound that gives them their distinctive red color. A French study found that alcoholic men had significantly lower concentrations of lycopene and other carotenoids in their blood than men who consumed low or moderate amounts of alcohol.

Prostaglandin Pressures and Pleasures
Supplements of preformed GLA may help increase levels of PGE1, which can alleviate hangover symptoms associated with inflammation and swelling, such as headache and aching muscles — even depression. In a Scottish study, GLA supplements dramatically reversed depression in certain alcoholics (Celtic, Scandinavian, Scottish, Welsh, American Indian). Again, it’s genetic racial factors that affect enzyme activity and account for the inability of some people to withstand alcohol while others seem impervious to it.

It’s interesting to note that the reason why a first drink may feel good is because alcohol has the ability to briefly activate the tiny levels of PGE1 that exist within the brain. This provides a welcome temporary relief from depression, but soon leads to a crash when the PGE1 reserve is depleted.

GLA is available in capsules of evening primrose oil. DHA is available in capsules of oil derived from fish or microalgae.

Honey, Please Pass the Blood Sugar
In an informative 1998 report, Jim Roberts describes an 18th century hangover recipe which instructs “the afflicted to suck on a sugar cube containing drops of clove oil, then chew on a sprig of parsley, followed by a cup of chamomile tea (sweetened with honey), followed by teaspoons of honey every half-hour for two to three hours. Clove was considered a painkiller back then, and parsley and chamomile were thought to soothe the stomach muscles.” Parsley is also a good source of vitamin C.

Honey and fruit juices are common ingredients in hangover remedies, probably because they raise low blood sugar (glucose) levels and relieve hypoglycemia. Alcohol depletes the glucose reserves in the liver (stored as glycogen), so the brain is deprived of glucose and hence the energy it needs for normal functioning.

Low blood sugar may account for hangover symptoms of lethargy. Also when alcohol breaks down, acidic byproducts can build up in the blood and cause muscular weakness. Ian Calder, an anaesthetist at London’s National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, says that both problems can be remedied by consuming extra sugar.

Magnesium Calms the Jitters
Acetaldehyde causes magnesium to be flushed out through the kidneys. Low levels of magnesium can cause nerves to fire too easily — even from minor stimuli. This can result in jangled nerves and a hypersensitive brain where even mild noises sound excessively loud, lights seem too bright, and emotional reactions are exaggerated.

An extreme case of alcohol-induced magnesium deficiency is delirium tremens, a life-threatening effect of withdrawal that is a medical emergency. It is characterized by sweating, shaking, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, agitation, and disturbances of memory. Emergency room treatment for the d.t.’s includes injections of magnesium sulfate.

Fifty Ways to Love Your Liver
Because your liver is the organ responsible for detoxifying alcohol, its health is paramount. Basically, it needs all known vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, including special nutrients such as lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC).

In addition, certain phytonutrients found in plants seem to promote or even repair liver function. These include milk thistle (silymarin), dandelion root, and turmeric (curcumin). Siberian ginseng supports the liver and is associated with people remaining alcohol-free after going through rehabilitation. For next day hangover relief, some swear by a shot of liquid ginseng chased by a tumbler of water.

Other Hangover Remedies
Some people use aromatherapy to clear their head or inhale apple-scented oxygen at one of the new “oxygen bars” that are cropping up in major cities. Others consume a few charcoal tablets as a remedy for hangovers, which is similar to a 19th century practice by chimney sweeps who drank warm milk with a teaspoon of soot. Nux vomica is the classic homeopathic remedy for people who feel woozy or nauseous after drinking too much alcohol.

A Promising Plant is Knocking at Our Door
Kudzu is a plant that’s best known in the United States because it has been spreading unchecked throughout the South. But in China, an extract from this edible vine has long been used to treat headaches and hangovers. The Japanese make a hangover remedy tea with equal parts of kudzu root, umeboshi plum, and fresh ginger root.

A 1993 Harvard study found that alcohol-craving hamsters treated with kudzu extracts rapidly lost their appetite for alcohol and voluntarily cut their consumption by 50%. Animal studies done in 1996 at the Indiana University School of Medicine showed that daidzin, an isoflavonoid extracted from kudzu (Pueraria lobata), lowering blood alcohol levels. Daidzin and two other compounds from the plant also were effective in suppressing voluntary alcohol consumption by the rats.

Modern Formulations Put It All Together
A well-nutrified body is a good start, but taking extra nutrients before, during, and after a drinking session is usually necessary if you want to prevent or minimize a hangover. To sum it up, some key nutrients include: vitamin C, B-complex (with extra B1 and B5), magnesium, cysteine, taurine, lycopene, GLA, DHA, and kudzu.

Other nutrients include Siberian ginseng, MSM (a good source of bioavailable sulfur), and NAC (a stable form of cysteine and precursor to glutathione). GABA is an amino acid that acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter and keeps nerve cells from over firing. It may also be of value to help calm the hypersensitivity associated with a hangover.

Perhaps the two most comprehensive anti-hangover formulas available today are Source Naturals Hangover Formula™ and Life Enhancement’s Party Pill II™. They combine many of the above nutrients plus a broad range of supporting ones.

Some Basic Preventative Measures
If you take some preventive measures before and during your drinking episodes, you have the best chance of minimizing the symptoms of a hangover.

  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Fatty protein foods such as cheese or cold cuts absorb alcohol the best and will slow down the rate at which it enters your bloodstream.
  • Drink slowly. At best, your liver can only break down about one ounce of alcohol per hour.
  • Be aware that champagne and carbonated mixed drinks will accelerate the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream.
  • Know your limit and the effects of different kinds of alcohol. Darker drinks such as red wine, brandy, and port are higher in “congeners,” ingredients that tend to worsen hangovers.
  • To ward off dehydration, drink plenty of pure water during and after alcohol use, including during the night when you wake. (Coffee is not advised because it contributes to dehydration.)
  • Don’t try to cure your hangover with more alcohol (“hair of the dog”).

WARNING — Before and While You Drink:
Never take Tylenol (acetaminophen). Combined with alcohol, it can cause severe liver damage. Also, don’t take aspirin, because it will make you drunker.

Regarding the use of over-the-counter pain medication, the Mayo Clinic advised in their Dec. 1997 Health Letter: “Acetaminophen [Tylenol] or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, may help relieve your headache. However, they’re not risk-free. NSAIDS, when combined with alcohol, may irritate your stomach. And excessive doses of acetaminophen can be toxic to your liver, particularly when combined with alcohol.”

Final Notes
Alcohol temporarily deactivates the protective capabilities of your blood-brain barrier, making your brain more vulnerable to toxic substances, most of which cause free radical damage which can kill brain cells. What’s more, several studies conducted since the 1980s suggest that ethanol accentuates the damage caused by lead and aluminum in the brain.

Alcohol triggers the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands. Current research is shedding light on the real dangers these hormones do to memory and longevity. Click here for more information about the effects of stress on brain health and fitness. (And, click here to learn about ways to activate your relaxation response.)

References
Sprince, H., et al., “Protectants against acetaldehyde toxicity: Sulfhydryl compounds and ascorbic acid.” Fed Proc 33(3) (Part 1): March 1974. Sprince, H., et al., Agents and Actions 5(2): 164-73, 1975. Sprince, H., et al., Intl J Vit Nutr Res 47 (Supplement 1G): 185-212, 1977.
De Witte, P., et al., “Acute and chronic alcohol injections increase taurine in the nucleus accumbens.” Alcohol Alcohol Suppl 1994;2:229-33.
Dahchour, A., et al., “Taurine increases in the nucleus accumbens microdialysate after acute ethanol administration to naive and chronically alcoholised rats.” Brain Res 1996 Sep 30;735(1):9-19
Montoliu, C., et al, “Ethanol-induced oxygen radical formation and lipid peroxidation in rat brain: effect of chronic alcohol consumption.” J Neurochem, 63(5):1855-62 1994 Nov
Lecomte, E,. et al., “The relation of alcohol consumption to serum carotenoid and retinol levels. Effects of withdrawal.” Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1994;64(3):170-5
Pawlosky, R.J., et al., “Ethanol exposure causes a decrease in docosahexaenoic acid and an increase in docosapentaenoic acid in feline brains and retinas.” Am J Clin Nutr 1995;61:1284-89
Lin, R.C., et al., “Isoflavonoid compounds extracted from Pueraria lobata suppress alcohol preference in a pharmacogenetic rat model of alcoholism.” Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 20(4):659-63 1996 Jun
Mathews-Larson, Joan, “An End to the Revolving Door.” Addiction & Recovery, June 1990
“Drunk as a Skunk,” New Scientist, Dec. 20, 1997
Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw, “Why Not Party-Proof Yourself This Summer?” Life Enhancement, June 1998
Fowkes, S.W., “Living with Alcohol,” Smart Drug News, Dec. 13, 1996

 

Fish is brain food, and the oil is why.

The Amazing Super Brain Food – Omega 3

Two Time USA Memory Champion, memory training expert, and memory keynote – Ron White, shares his thoughts on the amazing benefits of Omega-3.

We all have moments of short-term memory loss, like when we forget where we put our car keys, or forgot to pick up something at the store. Those bouts are pesky, but normal occurrences.

For those who suffer from more frequent “Senior Moments” this is a growing concern. Is there a simple memory improvement pill or something that will help you?

Memory loss can come from a variety of different things – like diabetes, dehydration, illness, low iron and calcium levels, and heart problems that restrict flow of oxygen to the brain. There is also the onset of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, that will inhibit the body’s memory system.

Numerous studies have been conducted to show memory loss is not limited to “senior moments,” but is happing more and more to high school and college students. It has become a growing problem in woman approaching middle age, and after 50 both sexes show a decline. Since memory is important to any age, we are constantly searching for memory improvement tips and techniques.

Protein-rich Omega 3 is essential for pregnant women. As the baby grows it drains fat from the mother, and can reduce her brain by ½ its fat supply. If she doesn’t replenish her Omega 3s there is a high risk of postpartum depression, and it could take up to four years to replace the fat her brain has lost.

One of the best tips is to increase your intake of protein-rich Omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acids are a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are crucial for the effective functioning of our heart and brain. Since it is not something our bodies produce we have to rely on supplements and food to give us that ‘brain foods” boost.

You can find Omega 3 in cold water fish – such as salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel and Hoki. It’s also present in soybeans, tofu, walnuts and flaxseed oil. Best of all – Omega 3 is not hard to find in supplements form available at most pharmacies and local health food stores. There is no aftertaste, no need for refrigeration, and it’s easy to swallow for adults and children.

Since the market has been flooded with supplements that claim to be rich in Omega 3 you will need to be careful – not all are created equal.  Look for fish oil high in EPA and DHA content. The best is extracted from the Hoki fish, found in southern New Zealand. Even better – look for “molecularly distilled” fish oil supplements that have distilled all the toxins and contaminants like mercury and other metals, and is safe for human consumption.

The essential fatty acids in Omega 3 have been shown to increase calcium levels and improve bone strength. They contain blood-thinning properties that help prevent the blood clotting and blockage of arteries that causes coronary heart disease (People taking these supplements have a 70% lower risk of suffering strokes or heart attacks). The fish oil lowers the triglycerides in the blood to maintain good cholesterol (HDL) levels.

Doctors have used Omega 3 in the treatment of mental problems such as schizophrenia, depression and sleep disorders. People suffering from arthritis, osteoporosis and joint pain have found relief after taking this supplement, and newly discovered is the fact that it aids in the recovery from burns.

The important fatty acids work to enhance communication between nerve cells (neuro-transmitters), which will improve your memory as well as raise your IQ.

A proper diet and exercise program is always advisable, and it is recommended you get an OK from your doctor before you start any new supplements or diet change. You may be able to enlighten him/her on the amazing possibilities these brain foods will make in your overall health.

 

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 Fatty Acids are essential compounds for human health and growth. There are three of these compounds that have particular beneficial effects on your health: Alpha linolenic acid or ALA, eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid or DHA. Optimal function of the human brain depends on presence of Omega 3 fatty acids. They are essential building materials for the brain during development and crucial to proper brain function and maintenance. These fatty acids improve communication between the cells and are the main ingredient for making myelin sheaths, a protective membrane covering tissue connecting neurons. Deficiencies can lead to hyperactivity, attention deficiency disorder (ADD), dyslexia, violence, depression, memory loss and various behavioral disorders.

DHA

DHA is an important constituent of the dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain that are intricately associated with attention management and mood balancing. During child development the brain forms new neural pathways to facilitate learning. DHA is the critical component of the delicate neural synapses. In the absence of Omega 3 in the blood stream, the brain uses other types of fat to synthesize DHA. However, the shapes of trans-fat molecules and omega 3 molecules are not the same and therefore lead to imperfect construction of the synapses. The neural network gradually becomes deformed ultimately leading to the development of learning, memory and behavioral disorders.

Other Body Benefits

Omega 3’s have been also shown to have wide ranging effects on the body. Studies suggest that Omega 3’s impact: cholesterol levels (lowering LDL or ‘bad cholesterol’ and increasing HDL or ‘good cholesterol’), coronary health, the immune system, developmental health, skin, fatigue and Cancer!

Choosing Foods With Omega 3

The body cannot synthesize its own Omega 3 fatty acids. But it can synthesize alpha linolenic acid into all the other Omega 3’s the body needs. So when looking for sources of Omega 3’s make sure to choose foods high in alpha-linolenic acid. Below are fantastic natural sources of Omega 3’s that are found in vegetables and fish but nowadays all kinds of foods are being fortified with Omega 3’s such as eggs, chicken, bread, milk etc.

Seafood

Salmon – Wild is better than farmed.
Sardines
Trout
Mackerel
Halibut
Oysters
Herring
Anchovies
Mussels
Clams
Albacore Tuna
Huss/Dogfish
Crab
Vegetables and Nuts

Seaweed
Broccoli
Spinach
Avocado
Olives/Olive Oil
Flax Seed/Oil
Hemp Seed/Oil
Canola Seed/oil
Pumpkin Seed/Oil
Soybean oil
Walnut Nuts/Oil
Tofu
Add Omega 3 To Your Diet

With all it’s positive effects on the body and especially the brain, it’s a shame that North Americans do not get enough Omega 3 Fatty Acid in their diets. Research has proven that a diet rich in Omega 3’s can be beneficial in numerous ways. Try to make some different choices in your diet to regularly include more dark green, leafy vegetables and/or more fish to increase your intake of natural Omega 3 fatty acid. If you just can’t bring yourself to eat more veggies and fish, there are various supplements available that make it easy to get more Omega 3 into your diet.

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