HealthRevolutionary gel from ETH Zurich could slash blood alcohol levels by half

Revolutionary gel from ETH Zurich could slash blood alcohol levels by half

University of Zurich
University of Zurich
Images source: © Getty Images | drserg

9:38 AM EDT, May 14, 2024

Scientists from ETH University in Zurich may have made a groundbreaking discovery by developing a special gel that mitigates the negative symptoms associated with alcohol consumption. So far, studies conducted on mice have demonstrated the potential to reduce blood alcohol levels by up to 50 percent.

Although this discovery has only been tested on animals, scientists celebrate their success. Before initiating human trials, the Zurich researchers decided to patent their invention. If it is successful in human tests, it could revolutionize medicine.

The gel neutralizes the effects of alcohol consumption quite effectively. In tests on mice, it has been shown to lower alcohol levels in the blood by as much as 50%. This indicates a significant reduction in the health damage that occurs during the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

The gel alters alcohol metabolism from the liver to the gastrointestinal tract. "The gel shifts the breakdown of alcohol from the liver to the digestive tract. In contrast to when alcohol is metabolised in the liver, no harmful acetaldehyde is produced as an intermediate product," explains Professor Raffaele Mezzenga from the Laboratory of Food Materials and Soft Materials at ETH Zurich.

In addition to mitigating the effects of alcohol consumption, the gel could also play a role in combating hangovers. In mice that were given the gel daily along with alcohol, significantly less damage to the liver or spleen was observed, and there was almost no weight loss.

However, the scientists emphasize that the gel does not encourage alcohol consumption. It is aimed at people who drink alcohol occasionally and do not want to compromise their health.

"It's healthier not to drink alcohol at all. However, the gel could be of particular interest to people who don't want to give up alcohol completely, but don't want to put a strain on their bodies and aren't actively seeking the effects of alcohol," says Prof. Mezzenga.
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