Negative Responses to Alcohol - The Problems
We’ve developed a promising theory. It comes from observing consistent and repetitive scientific findings on alcohol hangovers. These culprits we target are: inflammation, oxidative stress, GABA, and vitamins.
Inflammation and oxidative stress
Several clinical research studies have been focusing on the inflammatory response from drinking alcohol as the cause of hangovers, and with good reason. Strong positive correlations between inflammatory responses and hangover severity have been reported in recent published papers .
The inflammatory response caused from drinking alcohol can be measured with cytokines. These cytokines are a part of the inflammation process, and the more of them there are the worse the inflammation is. This is also true for the oxidative stress placed on the body when drinking. Studies have shown levels of these cytokine biomarkers having a significant correlation with hangover severity .
The causes of inflammation and oxidative stress on the body can either be from alcohol directly or indirectly within the process of breaking down into its byproducts.
As we mentioned before, the conversion of alcohol into acetaldehyde involves the endogenous production of free radicals, which are both harmful for the body and thus elicit an immune response .
With multiple studies tying in inflammation and oxidative stress to hangover severity and the known metabolization process of alcohol creating inflammatory responses, we theorized that the best option to fight hangovers would be to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
GABA - Alcohol's Favorite Neurotransmitter
Alcohol is one of the few exogenous molecules that can pass the blood-brain barrier. It interacts with a few select neurotransmitters that belong to the "reward system" in the brain.
Alcohol interacts with the neurotransmitter GABA’s receptors, binding to them and inhibiting responsiveness, and interacts with the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate via the same interaction. As these receptors are antagonized, this causes a buildup of the respective neurotransmitters, accentuating the familiar feelings of inhibition (relaxed, open) and excitement when drinking .
There is a delicate balance between GABA and glutamate, and the brain attempts to compensate for this change by bringing the balance back toward equilibrium.
When you stop drinking, the brain’s compensatory changes are no longer opposed by the presence of alcohol, thus leading to the over-excitation of GABA and glutamate, acute alcohol withdrawal-induced GABA receptor plasticity, and other related hangover symptoms .
That overcompensation of neurotransmitters leads to the feeling we know in the morning, where we feel restless but tired at the same time. That’s the rebound effect.
As you drink, the body consumes B-vitamins, agents in regulating the body’s functions for responding to inflammation and repairing oxidative stress .
Replenishing B-vitamins has been the target of some alcohol hangover studies. There have been results with B-vitamin tests that show a positive correlation between B-Vitamin supplementation when drinking and a decrease in hangover severity .
Reducing inflammation and oxidative stress
Good Morn uses a variety of ingredients to combat inflammation and oxidative stress. DHM (Dihydromyricetin, the extract of the Japanese raisin tree called hovenia dulcis), ginger, ginseng, glutathione, and green tea all assist in reducing inflammation and oxidative stress on the body*..
By targeting specific inflammation-causing free radicals, alcohol metabolization, and antioxidant support - we can help protect against the negative effects of drinking alcohol.
For example, glutathione is the primary antioxidant responsible for metabolizing inflammation-causing free radicals. They are endogenously free radicals produced during the breakdown of alcohol into acetaldehyde.
DHM has been found to induce the expression of alcohol-metabolizing enzymes and reduce alcohol and acetaldehyde concentrations in rats . With faster alcohol metabolization, alcohol related inflammatory responses in the body have been shown to decline, as well as hangover severity .