What is a Hangover?
Summary: The most recent research has demonstrated that hangovers are caused by high levels of cytokines, which are small proteins in your body that cells use to communicate with each other. When a cell encounters a foreign body, a bacteria for example, it releases these signaling molecules to tell your immune system to kick into gear. When this happens, your body devotes its energy to fighting off the foreign body, resulting in feelings of sickness. The most recent research on hangovers has shown that your body reacts the same way after drinking alcohol. Your body recognizes the alcohol as foreign and releases these signaling molecules, causing you to “feel sick” the next day.
Advanced Description: Kim, et. Al., from the National Creative Initiative Center for Neurodynamics and the Department of Physics, first published a study in 2003 in the journal Alcohol. Using 20 healthy adult males, her team took a venous blood sample before the consumption of alcohol, and then antoher sample 13 hours after consuming 1.5 g/Kg of alcohol (the “Hangover State”) and compared a variety of biological markers to determine what was different in the hangover state. The most pressing difference was in the amount of cytokine levels, providing the first insight into the true cause of a hangover. Fitzwater, et. al. of the Behavioral Neuroscience Program out of Binghamtpon University expanded on this idea in his publication in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research in 2014. Fitzwater measured the cytokine levels at time intervals of 0, 9, 15, and 18 hours after consumption of 4 g/Kg of alcohol. He found that the cytokines IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-Alpha were all significantly increased in the liver, spleen, hippocampus, and hypothalamus during the hangover state. These high concentrations are what cause the feelings associated with a hangover.
Life Support + Hangovers
Summary: Life Support’s main ingredient has been shown to suppress the cytokine production that normally occurs after consuming alcohol. By suppressing this immune response, Life Support stops hangovers before they start.
Advanced Description: Hou, et. Al. researched in 2015 how Dihydromyricetin, a component of our active ingredient, interacts with inflammatory responses. His results, published in the Journal of Natural Products, demonstrated that this particular component of our proprietary blend suppresed the production of TNF-Alpha, IL-1 and IL-6, the same cytokines that were increased in a hangover state. Park, et. al. expanded on this idea in 2016 when he studied how the Fruit Extracts of Hovenia dulcis interacted with inflammatory responses. His results, published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, demonstrated that our main ingredient, the Japanese Raisin Tree Extract, suppresed TNF-Alpha, and IL-1, the same cytokines responsible for causing a hangover. By suppressing these cytokines, Life Support stops hangovers before they start.
Life Support + Fatigue
Summary: Life Support’s main ingredient has been shown to increase your body’s ability to utilize glucose as an energy source required for exercise, while at the same time inhibiting stress hormone expression, thereby preventing fatigue and increasing energy.
Advanced Description: Na, et. Al. researched in 2013 how the administration of our primary ingredient, Hovenia Dulcis, impacted a mouse’s energy by measuring the amount of time that the mice could swim. His findings, published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, demonstrated that the mice who received Hovenia Dulcis dramatically increased their swimming time compared to the control mice. Na noted that the Hovenia Dulcis induced better consumption of glucose as an energy source required for exercise, thereby allowing the mice to swim longer. Na concluded that our primary ingredient had a significant anti-fatigue effect via its anti-stress and anti-oxidant activities, thereby enhancing physical activity in swimming performance.
Life Support + Well-Being
Summary: Your liver serves to detoxify chemicals and metabolize drugs. If your liver is worked too hard, however, it can become damaged. Life Support’s main ingredient has been shown to help protect the liver from damage through its antioxidant activity. Life Support’s main ingredient has also been shown to promote healthy bone growth and maintenance by helping to increase bone mass.
Advanced Description: Wang, et. Al. researched in 2012 how our main ingredient, Hovenia dulcis, impacts liver function. Her research, published in The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, demonstrated that Hovenia dulcis has hepatoprotective properties through its antioxidant activity. 48 male mice were treated with either saline, Hovenia dulcis, or Bifendate for 20 days. At the end of the 20 days of treatment, the mice were administered very high levels of alcohol for 36 hours to induce liver damage (12 mL/Kg of 50% EtOH every 12 hours for 3 times). Liver damage and antioxidant activity were then measured. ALT and AST are measurements used to detect liver damage. In the mice who received saline, the ALT and AST levels were significantly increased, but in the mice who received Hovenia Dulcis, the ALT and AST levels were no different from the group that did not receive any alcohol. Further reserach demonstrated that the scavenging activity and the inhibition effect in the mice that received Hovenia dulcis were significantly increased, demonstrating the antioxidant activity of Hovenia dulcis. Cha et. al. researched in 2014 natural plant extracts that could potentially promote healthy bone growth and maintenance. After screening 350 different natural plant extracts, Cha found that Hovenia dulcis had the strongest ability to promote healthy bones. Further research demonstrated that the skulls of mice treated with Hovenia dulcis extract were 71% thicker than the control group. Cha also demonstrated that in the group that received Hovenia dulcis, the bone volume was significantly higher (measured as Bone Volume / Total Volume), the amount of bone tissue was significantly higher (measured as Trabecular Number), and the bone density was significantly higher (measured as Trabecular Separation). These studies demonstrate how our main ingredient, Hovenia dulcis, helps to promote healthy liver functioning and bone growth.
What is Acetaldehyde?
Summary: When your body processes alcohol, it is first metabolized to acetaldehyde, and then quickly metabolized to harmless acetate, water, and carbon dioxide. The buildup of acetaldehyde can lead to nausea, vomiting, sweating, flush face, etc. If someone consumes alcohol too fast over a short period of time, acetaldehyde can build up and cause the person to become sick. This is what causes feelings of sickness the night of drinking. This buildup, however, does not occur commonly because acetaldehyde is quickly metabolized. Some people, particularly of east asian decent, have a mutation in the gene that impacts the body’s ability to metabolize acetaldehyde. As a result, these people do not metabolize acetaldehyde as quickly, and thus acetaldehyde builds up when they consume alcohol. Even in these individuals, however, the acetaldehyde is completely processed from the body within hours, and is not present in the body during a hangover. Thus, although the buildup of acetaldehyde leads to symptoms that are similar to a hangover, acetaldehyde is not present in the body during a hangover, and thus is not the true cause of a hangover. Instead, acetaldehyde is only responsible for feelings of sickness the night of drinking, not the next morning.
Advanced Description: Ylikahri, et. Al. was the first to research this idea of acetaldehyde causing a hangover in 1974. His study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, measured a variety of biological markers (ie, acetaldehyde concentration, blood ethanol level, glucose, lactate, etc.) in 23 male volunteers both in a normal state and in a hangover state. To induce a hangover, Ylikahri administered 1.5 g/Kg of alcohol to these men and monitored them over the next day. He found that the maximal hangover occurred 12 to 14 hours after the initiation of drinking. He also found that in this hangover state, there was no acetaldehyde in the blood. He also compared the severity of the hangover to the peak concentration of acetaldehyde, and he found that the peak concentration of acetaldehyde was not related to the intensity of the hangover. Said differently, the amount of acetaldehyde that built up in the body the night before did not relate to how hungover the individual was. Research conducted at the University of Michigan’s Department of Chemical Engineering expanded on this idea in 2005. The researcher reviewed available literature on acetaldehyde processing in humans and created a rate law for individual with and without the mutation that impacts acetaldehyde processing. He found that individuals with no mutation obtained a peak acetaldehyde concentration of about 4 uM, individuals with one mutation obtained a peak acetaldehyde concentration of about 15 uM, and individuals with two mutations obtained a peak acetaldehyde concentration of about 53 uM. Despite this, in all three cases, all of the acetaldehyde was processed from the body within 200 minutes and thus would be present during a hangover. Finally, Prat et. al. conducted a review of all possible explanatory factors for a hangover in 2009 by reviewing and summarizing available research on hangovers. In his review, published in the Journal of Human Psychopharmacology, he noted that “it is necessary to obtain an excess of acetaldehyde . . . in amounts which are not usual after acute alcohol consumption,” as well as “Although an excess of acetaldehyde seems to contribute to the physiological autonomous symptoms of hangover, it is known that acetaldehyde is not present in the blood system or is not accumulated in the organism during hangover.” These studies together demonstrate that acetaldehyde is not present in the body during a hangover and is not responsible for the feelings associated with a hangover.
Life Support’s Other Ingredients
Taurine / L-Alanine – Life Support contains Taurine and L-Alanine, which are important amino acids involved in antioxidation and membrane stabilization. Research has shown that alcohol consumption depletes these important amino acids, which can contribute to oxidative stress. Drinking a Life Support helps to restore these important amino acids. Research has shown that the administration of Taurine can decrease IL-6 and TNF-A, which are cytokines that are responsible for a hangover. Research has also shown that repeated alcohol consumption can lead to oxidative stress and liver inflammation, but that the co-administration of Taurine during the alcohol consumption helped to protect the liver from the harmful effects of alcohol.
L-Glutathione – Life Support contains L-Glutathione, an amino acid that participates in metabolic processes and that is important in protecting cells against free radicals and toxic metabolites. Research has shown that consuming alcohol depletes L-Glutathione in the liver, thereby removing one of your liver’s main defenses against free radicals and toxins. In fact, research has shown that alcohol can cause hepatic damage by decreasing glutathione levels, and that glutathione levels remain low for many hours after a moderate amount of alcohol consumption. Drinking a Life Support helps to restore glutatione levels, thereby promoting your body’s natural defense against alcohol damage.
Vitamin C – Life Support contains Vitamin C, an essential nutrient for humans that is important for reducing alcohol-induced oxidative stress in your liver. Alcohol has been shown to deplete Vitamin C levels, thereby making your body more susceptible to alcohol-induced oxidative stress. Drinking a Life Support helps to restore your Vitamin C levels, thus helping your body to naturally defend against oxidative stress. Interestingly, Vitamin C and Milk Thistle, an alternative ingredient that some propose is beneficial after a night of drinking, act on the same biological mechanism. A 2012 study, published in The Journal of Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods, however, found that Milk Thistle was not as effective as Vitamin C in the prevention of ethanol-induced oxidative stress.
Other B Vitamins – Life Support contains multiple other B Vitamins, including B1 (Thiamin), B3 (Niacin), B12 (Coblamin), and B5 (Pantothenic Acid). Alcohol consumption has been shown to deplete these B Vitamins, and researchers have noted that effective detoxification from alcohol requires B-Vitamin supplementation. Drinking a Life Support helps to replenish your body’s supply of these critical vitamins. Thiamin (B1) is needed to produce cellular energy from food. Depletion of Thiamin from alcohol consumption can lead to nerve damage and irritability. Niacin (B3) helps support cellular energy production. Depletion of Niacin from alcohol consumption can lead to anxiety, apprehension, and fatigue. Cobalamin (B12) plays a critical role in the pathways of the body that produce cellular energy. Depletion of Cobalamin from alcohol consumption can lead to anxiety and fatigue. Pantothenic Acid (B5) helps support cellular energy production in the body and helps to rid your body of alcohol. Depletion of Pantothenic Acid from alcohol consumption can lead to fatigue and can diminish your body’s natural ability to process alcohol.