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Hospital Creates Fake Bar to Test New Anti-Drinking Drug

Believe it or not, the hospital at National Institutes of Health in Washington now has a fully stocked bar! Well, don’t worry, the bar is fake and all the bottles are actually filled with colored water. The whole setup is a part of an experiment to test the effectiveness of a new anti-drinking drug. The dimly lit replica bar is designed to amplify the alcohol craving of test participants in order to determine if the pill is able to counter the urge to drink.

“The goal is to create almost a real-world environment, but to control it very strictly,” said Dr. Lorenzo Leggio, lead researcher of the project. He revealed that the pill contains a hormone called ghrelin that is believed to increase appetite for food and perhaps inhibit the desire for alcohol.

NIH’s bar lab is one of about a dozen other versions in the US that are focused on experimenting with ghrelin. The hormone is produced by the stomach, and controls appetite via receptors in the brain. Researchers have discovered an overlap between receptors that fuel overeating and those that encourage alcohol cravings in the body. Dr. Leggio is now involved in testing whether blocking ghrelin’s actions also blocks those cravings, using an experimental drug that was originally developed for diabetes but never sold.

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These Oak Sticks Make Your Cheap Whiskey Taste More Expensive

Kickstarter features the most awesome inventions! The latest one we’ve found is the ‘Whiskey Element’, a simple tool that claims to make cheap whiskey taste like fine expensive liquor in just 24 hours. “Customize your whiskey in 24 hours,” the product page reads. “It’s your whiskey, drink it the way you want.”

The product is the brainchild of a Portland-based company called Time & Oak. They argue that the best and most expensive whiskeys are made after they are aged in quality oak barrels. But if you can’t afford to buy the finest whiskeys, you can probably settle for their Whiskey Elements, which are nothing more than specially designed oak sticks.

By simply adding the stick to a bottle of cheap whiskey, they claim that you can replicate the taste of high quality liquor in no time at all. That’s because their ‘accelerated transpiration through capillary action’ can properly age cheap whiskey into a quality one by filtering impurities and infusing additional wood flavor in the spirit.

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German Town Is Offering Unemployed Alcoholics Beer as an Incentive to Clean the Streets

A special project in the town of Essen, Germany, is designed to engage alcoholics and drug addicts in cleaning up the city’s streets, giving them a chance to pick themselves up and rejoin society. The project is called ‘Pick-Up’, and it pays the participants with a small hourly wage, along with free beer!

Although the beer is meant to be an incentive, the amount given away is small, so it won’t really cause a lot of damage. “The beer is distributed on the individual needs of the participants,” read a fact sheet from the organisation that manages the project. “Not everyone gets beer. Only the participants who aren’t able to do their work without it.”

The statement also mentioned that “Pick-UP isn’t about just cleaning the streets. The project has nothing to do with exploiting people. The idea is to allow participants, who are not forced to take part, to contribute to society in a way they otherwise wouldn’t.”

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World’s Youngest Alcoholic Is Only Two Years Old

Toddler Cheng Cheng, from eastern China’s Anhui province, got his first taste of wine when he was only 10 months old. His father put wine-dipped chopsticks into his mouth just to get him to stop crying, and the boy developed a taste for it instantly. As he grew older, he started to consume alcohol in increasing quantities. Now, at age two, he is probably the world’s youngest alcoholic. He’s been dubbed the ‘Little Winebibber’ because he prefers alcohol over milk.

At first, Cheng Cheng’s parents and relatives joked about his affinity towards alcohol. They found it funny and cute as he guzzled an entire bottle of beer without any side effects – something highly unusual and unexpected of a child. He didn’t experience any of the symptoms of alcohol consumption, not even an increased heart rate. Cheng Cheng simply emptied the bottle without batting an eyelid, and then asked for some more! “At that time, all of us in the family have already thought that this child can really drink a lot when he grows up,” said his aunt, Cai Teng.

But now that the toddler’s story is out, the family has been severely criticized for encouraging such behavior. The local media has displayed outrage, while doctors have urged the parents to immediately put a stop to Cheng Cheng’s drinking habit. Several pediatricians have warned that since children of his age do not have well developed body organs, even a little bit of alcohol can seriously damage their health. Read More »

Controversial Device Lets Users Inhale Alcohol, Become Intoxicated Much Faster

The ‘Vaportini’ is a controversial new device that promises a ‘revolutionary way of consuming alcohol’. People can to use it to speed up the effects of alcohol consumption, without the calories, carbs or impurities that usually come with drinking. The device heats up alcohol to 140 degrees F and allows users to breathe in the vapor through a straw. The crazy contraption can be purchased for just $45 from an American website.

Needless to say, inhaling alcohol is just as bad as it sounds. Professor Chris Day of Newcastle University and advisor to Drinkaware (a charity that promotes responsible drinking), said: “Inhaling alcohol is a very new trend so there isn’t yet any scientific data of the effects but it has the potential to be a very dangerous phenomenon and as such, we would advise people to be cautious if indeed they do decide to try it.” The professor also pointed out that the vapor bypasses the body’s natural defence mechanisms, so it has to be unsafe.

Professor Jonathan Chick, a psychiatrist from Edinburgh, was in agreement. “There is a greater ‘hit’ on the brain than when alcohol is taken by mouth, because some of it has not already been broken down on its way through the liver and this will increase the risk of damage to brain cells. So the method cannot be called safer to the body organs,” he said. He pointed out that there is an added risk of inhalation which is due to the direct impact on the brain – that is, risk of unsteadiness, falling or impulsive behavior. The vapor also bypasses the stomach (which limits alcohol intake through vomiting), making it dangerous and unsafe.

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The Human Brewery – Man’s Stomach Turns Starchy and Sugary Foods into Alcohol

34-year-old Matthew Hogg has a rare condition – auto-brewery syndrome. Every time he eats starchy or sugary foods, his body converts the food into alcohol that is released into his blood stream. This alcohol is so strong that he ends up intoxicated without even touching a single drink.

While this might sound like an alcoholic’s dream, for Matthew, it’s nothing short of a nightmare. He’s been suffering from the rare condition since primary school and his parents have spent their entire life savings of over $80,000 on diagnosing his illness. After seeing several specialists, the condition was finally identified when a test by Dr. Keith Eaton in London revealed high levels of ethanol in his blood and indicated bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. It is this yeast overgrowth that converts his meals into alcohol.

“I have experienced symptoms from birth and during my childhood there were countless times I suffered drunkenness without having consumed an alcoholic beverage,” said Matthew. “Every time I eat bread, potatoes or starchy rice I produce 100 percent proof drinking alcohol that travels around my body through my bloodstream – if I eat a portion of rice I would suffer a hangover equivalent of having glugged three bottles of red wine the night before.”

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