What is Acetaldehyde and why does DHM help with your hangover?

What is Acetaldehyde and why does DHM help with your hangover?

What is Acetaldehyde?

One of the scientific reasons for hangovers is the accumulation of acetaldehyde in the body. When alcohol is metabolized by the liver, it goes through a series of chemical reactions. One of these reactions involves the conversion of alcohol into acetaldehyde by an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase. Acetaldehyde is highly toxic to the body, and it is further metabolized into a less harmful substance called acetate by another enzyme called acetaldehyde dehydrogenase.

However, during excessive alcohol consumption, the body's metabolic pathways may become overwhelmed, leading to the accumulation of acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is known to cause oxidative stress, which refers to an imbalance between the production of harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the body's ability to detoxify them. This oxidative stress can damage cells and tissues, leading to inflammation and various hangover symptoms.

Furthermore, acetaldehyde can also directly interact with proteins and other molecules in the body, causing chemical modifications and disrupting normal cellular processes. This can contribute to the headache, nausea, and general discomfort experienced during a hangover.

hungover after a night out

In addition to its direct toxic effects, acetaldehyde can indirectly affect the body's response to alcohol. Some individuals have variations in the genes that encode alcohol-metabolizing enzymes, particularly the acetaldehyde dehydrogenase gene. These genetic variations can result in reduced activity of the enzyme, leading to a buildup of acetaldehyde even at lower alcohol consumption levels. This can make individuals more susceptible to experiencing severe hangover symptoms.

Overall, the accumulation of acetaldehyde in the body plays a significant role in the development of hangovers. The toxic effects of acetaldehyde, coupled with its ability to disrupt normal cellular processes, contribute to the various unpleasant symptoms experienced after alcohol consumption.


How does DHM help?

DHM, short for dihydromyricetin, is a compound found in certain plants such as Ampelopsis grossedentata (also known as oriental raisin tree). It has been studied for its potential effects on mitigating the negative consequences of alcohol consumption, including hangovers.

DHM appears to interact with acetaldehyde in several ways:

  1. Acetaldehyde metabolism: DHM has been shown to enhance the activity of enzymes involved in the breakdown of acetaldehyde, such as acetaldehyde dehydrogenase. By promoting the metabolism of acetaldehyde, DHM helps to reduce its levels in the body, potentially minimizing its toxic effects.

  2. Antioxidant activity: DHM acts as an antioxidant, meaning it can scavenge and neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS) that contribute to oxidative stress. Acetaldehyde-induced oxidative stress can lead to cellular damage and inflammation, and the antioxidant properties of DHM may help counteract these effects.

  3. GABAergic modulation: DHM has been found to interact with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps regulate neuronal activity. Alcohol consumption enhances the inhibitory effects of GABA, contributing to the sedative and anxiolytic effects of alcohol. DHM appears to modulate GABA receptors, potentially counteracting some of the effects of alcohol withdrawal and reducing symptoms such as anxiety and restlessness that can be experienced during a hangover.

While the exact mechanisms by which DHM interacts with acetaldehyde are not fully understood, studies suggest that its activity on acetaldehyde metabolism, antioxidant effects, and modulation of GABA receptors may collectively contribute to its hangover-relieving properties.

Long story short, get a NextDay with 1200 mg of DHM as well a blend of vitamins, minerals, and a bit caffeine -- all natural! -- to help you after a night out.

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