Synthetic alcohol which can make you feel drunk without a hangover 'could be ready within five years'
Researchers believe that it will change the way alcohol is consumed in the future and its benefits including missing the crushing hangover.
Just a little while longer! Synthetic alcohol, which lets people get drunk without the nasty side-effect of feeling hungover in the morning, could be ready for consumption in the next five years, researchers have reportedly claimed.
The product has gone a step closer to being sold in bars and clubs after several years of research, which was spearheaded by Professor David Nutt who believes that its consumption will give you the same high as alcohol but minus the crushing hangover. Nutt, a former government adviser had lost his job after he began controversially claiming that alcohol, as well as horse-riding, were more dangerous than drugs, as reported by Daily Mail.
But it seems like Nutt was not to be deterred. The synthetic alcohol which Nutt and his partner David Orren created, is being branded as Alcarelle and is now in its final stages of development but still needs to be regulated. The process usually takes about three years, but according to the researchers, they expect it to take a little longer due to the uniqueness of the product.
Alcosynth, which is the official name given to the molecule, will technically be able to give people the same fuzzy feeling of drinking booze but has been designed in a manner that it is impossible to end up out of control or hungover. Its creators said that the alternative won't be toxic to the liver like alcohol, given the increase in alcohol-related liver disease deaths.
Nutt, in conversation with The Guardian, said: "There will obviously be testing to check the molecule is safe. And we need to show that it’s different from alcohol. We will demonstrate that it doesn’t produce toxicity like alcohol does."
Nutt had been studying the effect of alcohol on the brain, and first discovered an antidote to reverse drunkenness as a PhD student in 1983. It was termed as too dangerous for clinical use after it was found that the antidote could cause seizures when taken sober, and ever since, Nutt has been figuring out how to stimulate the Gaba receptor in the brain in the same way alcohol does.
He said: "We know where in the brain alcohol has its "good" effects and "bad" effects, and what particular receptors mediate that – Gaba, glutamate and other ones, such as serotonin and dopamine. The effects of alcohol are complicated but … you can target the parts of the brain you want to target." The plan is to sell Alcarelle to the alcohol industry so that they can put the active ingredient into their own drinks so that customers don't need to change their booze preferences.
Jonny Forsyth, a global drinks analyst at Mintel, is of the belief that the groundbreaking product will entice young consumers with a health conscience. He said for such an audience, "it’s much cooler to be healthy, but it’s also about control". He added: "They don’t want to end up on Instagram looking drunk; their manager might see that. Something that would automatically control their drinking would be very appealing."
As for its place in the alcohol industry, Forsyth told The Guardian there is a place for Alcarelle if it is regulated because the "industry is increasingly investing in alcohol alternatives."
"If the science is right, and if it's easy to mask the taste, I think it's got a great chance," he said.