Synthetic alcohol could offer the ‘buzz’ without hangovers

 An alternative to ethanol has been developed to help people to feel like they’re drinking alcohol, without any of the side effects.


The synthetic alcohol Alcarelle is currently with regulators seeking approval.

The synthetic alcohol Alcarelle is currently with regulators seeking approval.

Enjoy having a few drinks but not so much the hangover? Well there may be a solution in sight. The new molecular compound, named Alcarelle, has been created by a UK team led by Imperial College London’s neuropsycho pharmacology expert Professor David Nutt.

The synthetic alcohol Alcarelle is currently with regulators seeking approval and, if approved, is set to soon become aimed at consumers who enjoy the buzz of drinking as well as the relaxation it offers without the health implications, loss of control or hangovers.

Nutt said: “Alcohol has the huge benefit of helping us socialise as humans” but revealed “alcohol mimics a chemical called GABA which is produced in the brain. We now know there are 15 subtypes of GABA receptor present in lots of different parts of the brain and that alcohol will bind to all of them and cause lots of side-effects.”

“With our synthetic alcohol, we’ve been targeting the receptors in the parts of the brain which regulate how you feel and how you interact and how you socialise.”

According to Nutt, it is possible for his new molecular compound to select the “useful” GABA receptors only and in turn stimulate the receptors that cause tipsiness, but not headaches, memory impairment, aggression or longer term liver problems.

He insisted: “ We want to keep the pleasure, but not the pain, essentially. You don’t get the physiological changes that ethanol does from Alcarelle, I’ve tried and tested it myself.”

Alcarelle is yet to be tested or approved by regulators in the US or Europe, however Nutt has stated his hopes for his creation to become available to the public in the next five years. Currently, only Nutt and his team have tried Alcarelle due to it’s lack of regulation. However, in the meantime, Nutt’s company GABA Labs has started selling a drink named Sentia that is made from plant extracts that allegedly induces a tipsy feeling by using botanicals.




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