For the Nerd in Us All…

“Estimates of lost revenues due to reduced job productivity and absenteeism from alcohol run as high as $148 billion a year in the U.S. alone, much of this expense is related to hangovers in light to moderate drinkers.” (1)

Listen as Dr. Andi explains PLAN C.

Although many of us love to indulge in our favourite beverage, whether we have one, or three, or more… we often pay for it the next day! Alcohol has a pretty significant effect on your brain, liver, kidneys, heart, blood vessels and the lining of your stomach.

A single drink is enough to trigger a hangover in some people, and you can end up feeling sick, shaky, dizzy, disoriented, headachy and nauseous, to name a few.

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How is Everything Related?

Hangovers
What Causes A Hangover?

So what causes those not-so-fun, why-did-I-drink-so-much, feelings the next day?
The alcohol pathway: from bottle to brain – what happens to the alcohol when we drink it?
The exact method by which alcohol exerts it’s effect is still a bit unclear, but we know that once it’s been absorbed from the stomach, into the bloodstream, it then crosses from there into the nerve cells of the brain (1). Initially, we have a lovely, pleasurable feeling and inhibitions begin to decrease. With greater alcohol consumption, the effects become a bit less pleasurable, and lead to headaches, slurred speech, lack of coordination, memory “black out” periods and more. (1)

Alcohol use, and related problems are influenced by each person’s ability to break down alcohol, as well as the way it is broken down and eliminated from the body (2). This may have to do with genetics, environmental factors, age, race, and even gender (yes ladies, we’re at a disadvantage – more on that below).

Although many of the effects of a hangover are due to alcohol itself, others are due to the toxic break-down product of alcohol, Acetaldehyde, which accumulates in the body. The more you drink, the more acetylaldehyde.

  • No matter how much you actually drink, your body can only metabolize a certain amount of acetaldehyde every 2 hours, and factors such as race, gender, body mass and even liver size play a role here.
  • That’s why it’s important to support the liver, and the detoxification pathways (which is where alcohol is broken down). This may decrease the accumulation of acetaldehyde, or assist liver function.
  • With Plan C, we help you support the liver to attempt to enhance this process
Acetaldehyde
What IS IT?

Acetylaldehyde is a toxin that is accumulated when alcohol is broken down in the body. This chemical is quite harmful to the body and it is broken down even further so as not to cause any damage, eventually being eliminated in our urine. However, when we overconsume alcohol, our bodies become overwhelmed and can’t effectively break down this chemical, causing it to accumulate and contributing to increased pulse rates, sweating, flushing and even nausea and vomiting.

Other factors can play a role in that nasty hangover and stomach ache, such as alcohol sensitivities, impurities in alcohol, mixing of different alcohols and even gender. Ladies, we just can’t tolerate as much alcohol as men. We don’t have as many enzymes to break down that acetaldehyde, so it accumulates faster and its effects become greater. So, don’t even bother to try and match your man drink for drink.

Additional Details
MEN VS. WOMEN

Women start to feel the effects much sooner than men. Alcohol resides mostly in body water, and pound for pound women have less than men. So a man and woman of the same weight can consume the same amount of alcohol, but a woman’s blood concentration will be higher. (2)

In addition, women metabolize alcohol differently. We don’t have as many enzymes to break down that acetaldehyde, so it accumulates faster and its effects become greater.

So, Now that we know what causes a hangover,
what can we do to help one if we DO have a night of overindulgence?

Hangover Symptoms: The Why & How Of Managing Your Hangover

Alcohol puts a large amount of stress on the liver. The liver can be damaged by the by-products of alcohol, as well as by the inflammation caused by these by products (5). Increased injury to the liver can lead to many complications down the road, so it’s important, if you’re not abstaining from alcohol, to support the liver as best you can.

Plan C Solution: Nutrients such as Milk Thistle, to improve liver function (6), as well as antioxidants, to help manage some of the negative free-radical by-products produced in the body.

Alcohol is a natural diuretic, and increases urine production causing us to eliminate more fluids than we should. What do we get? Dizziness, light-headedness, thirst. (3)

Plan C Solution: A great source of electrolytes and feverfew to try and help you stay hydrated!

Alcohol can actually trigger an immune response, causing your body to create inflammatory molecules. These lead to those wonderful feelings such as inability to concentrate, memory problems, and decreased appetite (3).

Plan C Solution: Plan C aims to help manage the inflammation and the disruption in your immune system that occurs due to alcohol consumption, with ingredients such as glutamine (4) to help soothe and calm the inflammation.

Digestive upset is a significant issue for some people. Alcohol can irritate the stomach lining, promote inflammation, increases the production of stomach acid and can delay the emptying of contents from your stomach. What does this mean? Nausea, abdominal pain and bloating (3).

Plan C Solution: We’ve added nutrients, such as Marshmallow Root, that coat the lining of your digestive tract, to help bring down some of the irritation and acidity. We’ve also included botanicals, such as ginger, to help fight the nausea and vomiting, and glutamine to manage inflammation in the digestive tract.

This irritation to the stomach lining can lead to difficulty absorbing nutrients and vitamins from the gut (7), especially vitamins B1, B3 and B6 (8).

Plan C Solution: Plan C includes a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamin, Vitamin C, and magnesium, which are all depleted during alcohol consumption.

Alcohol can cause your blood sugar to drop (causing hypoglycaemia), making you feel shaky, weak and irritable the next day (3). . The function of the liver is to release glucose (sugar) into the blood all day, alcohol can actually inhibit this process, meaning less sugar released into the blood stream. The liver is working overtime to try and clear your body of acetylaldehyde (that alcohol by-product), and then cannot keep blood sugar regulated as it needs to (3)

Plan C Solution: Plan C aims to stabilize blood sugar with the addition of nutrients, such as chromium (9) (10), to try and help you avoid that shaky feeling later and that drastic drop in blood sugar. Ingesting some kind of carbohydrate may also help!

Although drinking can make you feel sleepy, if actually decreases the quality of your sleep, leaving you feeling tired the next morning (3). It’s important to know, the less sleep you have, the worse you’re going to feel.

Plan C Solution: Botanicals, such as Schisandra, may assist with helping you have a restful night of sleep.

It’s important to know that some things can increase your risk of feeling awful the next day, such as drinking on an empty stomach, which speeds up alcohol absorption or mixing other drugs, nicotine with alcohol, alcohol impurities, mixing different forms of alcohol, and some people even have alcohol sensitivities. So know your body, but remember – the key is to drink responsibly!

Study References

See The Research

1. Hangover Headache. John Hopkins Medicine . [Online] http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/centers_clinics/headache/conditions/hangover_headache.html.

2. Alcohol Alert (U.S Department of Health & Human Services). National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. [Online] 2007. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA72/AA72.htm. 72.

3. JACQUELYN J. MAHER, M.D. Exploring Alcohol’s Effects on Liver Function. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism . [Online] 1997. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh21-1/05.pdf.

4. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum). Mayo Clinic . [Online] 2013. http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/milk-thistle/evidence/hrb-20059806.

5. Staff, May Clinic. Hangovers. http://www.mayoclinic.org/. [Online] Dec 20, 2014. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hangovers/basics/causes/con-20025464.

6. Immunity, Inflammation, and Allergy in the Gut. Thomas T. MacDonald, Giovanni Monteleone. 5717 , s.l. : Science , 2005, Vol. 307.

7. Effect of alcohol consumption on the gut. J Christian Bode, md (Em. ChiefDepartment of Internal Medicine, Section Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Robert–Bosch Hospital, stuttgart, GermanyAPL Professor of Medicine). 4, s.l. : Clinical Gastroenterology , 2003, Vol. 17.

8. B VITAMIN DEFICIENCY AND NEUROPSYCHIATRIC SYNDROMES IN ALCOHOL MISUSE. CHRISTOPHER C. H. COOK, PHILLIP M. HALLWOOD , ALLAN D. THOMSON. 4, s.l. : Oxford Uninversity Press, Alcohol and Alcoholism, Vol. 33, pp. 317-336.

9. Chromium, Glucose Intolerance and Diabetes. Richard A. Anderson PhD, FACNa*. 6, s.l. : Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1998, Vol. 17.

10. Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 and Functional Foods of Plant Origin. Pathak, Manju. 2, s.l. : Bentham Science Publishers, 2014, Vol. 8.

11. Review affirms multiple benefits for resveratrol. Life Extension. [Online] June 12, 2009. https://www.lef.org/newsletter/2009/6/review-affirms-multiple-benefits-for-resveratrol/page-01.

12. Milk thistle. University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). [Online] 2011. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/milk-thistle.

13. Milk thistleShare on facebookShare on twitterBookmark & SharePrinter-friendly version. Medline Plus – National Institutes of Health . [Online] 2015. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/138.html.

14. Hangover Prevention. Life Extension. [Online] 2015. https://www.lef.org/Protocols/Lifestyle-Longevity/Hangover-Prevention/Page-02.

15. Feverfew. University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). [Online] 2013. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/feverfew.

16. A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study of Sublingual Feverfew and Ginger (LipiGesicTMM) in the Treatment of Migraine. Roger K. Cady MD*, Jerome Goldstein MD, Robert Nett MD, Russell Mitchell, M.E. Beach BS, LPN, CCRP andRebecca Browning BS. 7, s.l. : The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 2011, Vol. 51.

17. Ginger. University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). [Online] 2010. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/ginger.

18. Ginger 1:2. Standard Process . [Online] https://www.standardprocess.com/Products/MediHerb/Ginger-12#.VTgW2yFViko.

19. Glutamine. University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). [Online] 2013. https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/glutamine.

20. Sleep, Sleepiness, and Alcohol Use. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. [Online] http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh25-2/101-109.htm.

21. Bone, Kerry and Mills, Simon. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. s.l. : Elsevier, 2008.

22. Marshmallow. University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). [Online] 2013. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/marshmallow.

23. David R. Katerere, Dibungi Luseba. Ethnoveterinary Botanical Medicine: Herbal Medicines for Animal Health. 2010 .

24. Julius Goepp, MD. The Overlooked Compound That Saves Lives. Life Extension Magazine. [Online] May 2010. http://www.lef.org/magazine/2010/5/n-acetyl-cysteine/Page-01?checked=1.

25. Stokel, Kirk. The Liver Disease Epidemic You Need to Know About. Life Extension – Foundation for Longer Life . [Online] DEC 2010.

26. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism . Women and Alcohol. [Online] AUG 2013. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/womensfact/womensfact.htm.