A Guiltless Pleasure?
Alcohol, though widely enjoyed by a lot of people, is known to cause several health risks and complications. Globally, alcohol misuse is the fifth leading risk factor for premature death and disability.
But developments from Imperial College Professor David Nutt claim to be on to a solution by synthesizing Alcosynth. The drink is said to be a healthier option to give drinkers that sociable buzz without the dry mouth, nausea, and throbbing headache. Previously reported formulas of alcosynth listed a derivative of benzodiazepine as its active ingredient. However, Professor Nutt claims that his formula does not contain the drug. In fact, his formula is "a closely guarded, patented secret."
“It will be there alongside the scotch and the gin, they'll dispense the alcosynth into your cocktail and then you'll have the pleasure without damaging your liver and your heart,” Nutt said in a report by The Independent. He also comments that "they go very nicely into mojitos."
Nutt believes that alcosynth will revolutionize public health, and that by 2050, it will have completely replaced conventional alcohol.
However, alcosynth is being closely monitored for potential health risks. Nutt defends alcosynth research, saying that it is non-toxic and grounded in extensive research on how substances affect the brain. "We know where the good effects of alcohol are mediated in the brain, and can mimic them...by not touching the bad areas, we don't have the bad effects.”
He states that the formula could be tweaked to set a maximum effect, meaning that, unlike alcohol, a person's "drunkeness" could only be compounded to a specific point.
Even so, we need to verify these claims and move forward cautiously. If the drink works as intended, it would be welcome news for responsible drinkers looking to avoid the downsides of the morning after, but that "if" needs to be removed prior to it being released for consumption.
To that end, to date, extensive data is not readily available, and it will be very important for research to focus on the intended effects as well as any possible unintended ones. Moreover, even if alcosynth does eliminate hangovers, it is important to remember that it still does not claim to remedy all of the other ways intoxication is dangerous (impaired judgement, drunk driving, etc.) to drinkers as well as those around them.