About this author
Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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Brain Waves

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December 9, 2003

Avoiding Hangovers or Promoting Excess?

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Posted by Zack Lynch

I rarely point out developments in so-called nutriceuticals (short for nutrition - not neuro as in neuroceuticals), but RU-21's alleged capability to reduce hangovers after moderate drinking is troubling because nutritional supplements do not have to be approved by the FDA.

Here is a classic example of the need to put nutriceuticals through a clinical trial process, legalize recreational drug development for non-addictive alternatives, or at least have some substantial research proving their efficacy from places like Rutger's Nutriceuticals Institute.

Apparently, RU-21 was created by the former KGB to keep its agents sober so that they could drink opponents under the table before stealing their secrets. Problem was, the KGB pill didn't stop drunkenness. Marketers in America claim that it has been clinically tested at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Apparently, it prevents the harmful effects of acetaldehyde which is produced when alcohol is consumed. (more facts on hangovers)

According to the Guardian, Hollywood actors are said to be fond of the fix, which enables them to make the most of comment board where people were describing their experience with it. Not very reassuring. I think I'll just stick with a glass of Lynch every once and a while. Why are we stuck with 4,000 year old tools anyway?

Update:a good link sent in by a Brain Waves subscriber on what really causes hangovers.

Comments (1) | Category: X-tra


1. alfred on December 10, 2003 9:45 AM writes...


Lots of great information from a field you usually don't till. I am suprised.

I would suggest a visit to the vapor caves in Glenwood Springs Colorado. They guarantee a hangover cure in 20 minutes.

Our indigenous folks visited in the spring to recover from the harsh Colorado winters. Nowdays vacationers come down valley from Aspen and Vail to recover from excesses in thier life style.

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