A relatively new herbal extract known as Ampelopsin, commonly called Dihydromyricetin or DHM is making waves in consumer markets, with several supplement companies creating products in response to popular research that has shown that it reduces symptoms of alcohol intoxication, reduces damage done to the liver, and, most importantly, prevents hangovers.
What is Dihydromyricetin?
I originally came across dihydromyricetin, an extract from the bark of the cedrus deodara tree – otherwise known as the Holvenia Dulcis oriental raisin tree – two years ago after reading a feature in New Scientist magazine about it.
Ampolopsis grossedentata (dihydromyricetin)
Originally a Chinese herbal tea, dihydromyricetin has been taken for centuries as a hangover remedy and headache healer in rural villages.
It wasn’t until a pharmacologist from the University of California, Los Angeles, called Jing Liang led a team of researchers to effectively get rats (very) drunk and then test dihydromyricetin extracts on them, that it became apparent and well known that there was real merit in DHM and it’s potential as a hangover cure.
The original studies were performed whilst trying to develop a potential solution to Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), commonly called alcoholism, where the symptoms involve repeated alcohol use leading to tolerance, alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS), physical and psychological dependence, and the loss of ability to control excessive drinking.
Jing Liang’s popular study, entitled “Dihydromyricetin As A Novel Anti-Alcohol Intoxication Medication” detailed how dihydromyricetin counteracted acute alcohol (EtOH) intoxication. In technical terms, DHM “greatly reduced EtOH consumption in an intermittent voluntary EtOH intake paradigm in rats.”
Scratching your head? Let’s put that in terms we can all understand, and look at how and why dihydromyricetin works:
The Studies Behind DHM
Liang and her research team first tested whether Dihydromyricetin blocks the clumsiness and loss of coordination caused by drinking too much.
Rats given a dose of alcohol & DHM
After she injected rats’ abdomens with a dose of alcohol proportionate to the amount a human would get from downing 15 to 20 beers in 2 hours by a human, they took about 70 minutes, on average, to right themselves. However, when an injection of the same amount of booze included a milligram of DHM per kilogram of rat body weight, the animals recovered their composure within just 5 minutes
There were further findings in the study, like DHM’s ability to stop rats in a maze from behaving in ways resembling anxiety and hangovers. The extract also appeared to discourage rats from excessive alcohol consumption when they had a free choice between drinking a sweetened solution of alcohol or sweetened water over a period of three months, when traditionally in that time period rats would get addicted to increasing volumes of alcohol.
More research has been carried out on the extract since Liang’s studies and the findings are even more impressive: it turns out that dihydromyricetin is actually hepatoprotective, for instance, meaning that it has the ability to reduce the amount of liver damage caused by alcohol.
More recent studies have shown that the has other promising abilities, including:
- Clearing free radicals in the body and antioxidation. Essentially the DHM extract can level down the lipid peroxidation, preventing the oxidative damage of antioxidase in body caused by the free radical. DHM is improving the oxidation resistance of the human body.
- Antibiotic Action
- Protecting the Liver: Dihydromyricetin has the strong inhibitory action of the rise of ALT and AST in the blood Serum.
- Reducing the levels of blood sugar and blood fat: Dihydromyricetin can reduce the blood fat levels in the mouse. It can decrease the damage to liver cells caused by the high blood fat levels and improve the antioxidation ability. At the same time, it can lower the levels of high blood sugar.
- Anti-tumor: Dihydromyricetin extract has effective restrain to cell proliferation of some tumor cells.
Dihydromyricetin has a few different names, some describing different forms of the extract and some describing the plant that it is derived from (DHM is an extract from the Holvenia Dolsis tree, as mentioned above).
Alternative names, that you may hear, are:
- DHM ~ the shortened/abbreviated name
- Cedrus Deodara ~ the name of the tree that dihydromyricetin is extracted from (specifically, dihydromyricetin is extracted from the bark of the cedrus deodara tree)
- Ampelopsin ~ the chemical name
- Holvenia Dulcis ~ another name for the oriental raisin tree that the dihydromyricetin compound is extracted from.
Dihydromyricetin/Ampelopsin can also be found in other plants except for Holvenia Dolsis, the major ones being Catha edulis (commonly called “khat” – a popular recreational drug) and Cayratia trifolia.
How & Why Dihydromyricetin Works
In the study mentioned above, where rats where given doses of alcohol, placed in a v-shaped cradle and then timed on how long it took to right themselves (a control group with just alcohol, and a test group given an additional dose of dihyrdromyricetin), all of the the benefits of DHM were lost instantly when Liang also gave the rats a drug called flumazenil, which is known to block receptors in the brain for a neurotransmitter called gamma aminobutyric acid (commonly called GABA).
This discovery proved to Liang and her team that DHM works by stopping alcohol from accessing the same GABA receptors. This, she went on to explain, explains why dihydromyricetin kept the rats sober even when they had huge amounts of alcohol in their blood.
To fully understand the mechanisms of Dihydromyricetin which help your body in negating/preventing the effects of alcohol, we must first understand how the body processes and metabolises alcohol.
When we drink alcohol (EtOH), it enters our bloodstream through the gastrointestinal tract (the gut). Our blood is then filtered through the liver, where alcohol is broken down (metabolised) and removed from the system by breaking it down into different chemicals. One of the chemicals that alcohol breaks down into is a toxic byproduct known as acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is up to 20-30 times more toxic to the body than alcohol. Many of the symptoms of acetaldehyde toxicity are identical to the most severe hangover symptoms: nausea, severe headaches, and light/sound sensitivity.
The human body is able to break down both EtOH/alcohol and acetaldehyde at a finite rate, so consuming alcohol beyond the rate at which your body can remove it causes an increase in your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) which essentially causes feelings of intoxication.
Dihydromyricetin improves the ability of the liver enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase. These enzymes are what the liver uses to clear both alcohol and acetaldehyde from the bloodstream, and DHM basically makes them work faster.
This means that if you take DHM before bed it will cause the liver to clear acetaldehyde from the bloodstream at a faster pace, limiting the damage it causes and preventing typical hangover symptoms.
GABA & Glutamate Mechanisms
Besides acetaldehyde toxicity, another effect of alcohol on the body is the rebound effect it has on the levels of the neurotransmitters GABA and Glutamate. When alcohol is consumed and reaches the brain, it affects how the brain responds to the neurotransmitters Glutamate & GABA.
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter; meaning high levels of GABA cause a sedating effect. Alcohol causes the brain to act as if higher levels of GABA are present, which leads to feelings of relaxation, lowered inhibitions, and the slurred words and loss of motor control that are classic symptoms of drunkenness.
Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter; meaning higher levels of Glutamatecause can cause brain activity, heart rate, and energy levels to rise. Alcohol has the exact opposite effect on Glutamate than it does on GABA, causing the brain to act as if there is less Glutamate present. This, combined with it’s effect on GABA levels produce it’s sedative effects.
While you’re drinking, the brain attempts to compensate for the effects of alcohol by releasing less GABA and more Glutamate. This rebound effect is why it is so easy to fall asleep when drunk, but why sleep quality is decreased and you often wake up tired. Your brain is essentially fighting with itself!
Dihydromyricetin blocks alcohol’s ability to influence GABA. When DHM is taken after a long night of drinking, it binds to GABA receptors, preventing alcohol from influencing them. This reduces the rebound effect from GABA/Glutamine that occurs, limiting the negative symptoms caused by it.
This effect of DHM is so potent that researchers believe DHM may have promise as a treatment for the more severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms suffered by alcoholics attempting to kick the habit.
Mentions In Ancient Chinese Medical Texts
Dihydromyricetin has been used for many years (centuries?) in Chinese medicine, and has been shown to have significant effects on the human body. Entries in ancient Chinese media texts such as the Compendium of Materia Medica and Materia Medica of Tang, winding all the way back to the Ming Dynasty, document the use of Hovenia Dulcis in one form or another for detoxification and recovery from alcohol poisoning and treatment and recovery from liver damage.
The molecular formula for dihydromyricetin is C15H12O8. The Molecular Weight of dihydromyricetin is 320.25098 g/mol. The IUPAC Name of DHM is (2R,3R)-3,5,7-trihydroxy-2-(3,4,5-trihydroxyphenyl)-2,3-dihydrochromen-4-one.
Here’s a picture of DHM’s 2D Structure:
Dihydromyricetin 2D Structure
And the 3D Conformer composition:
Dihydromyricetin 3D conformer
More on all of the scientific information behind dihydromyricetin is availble here http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Dihydromyricetin.
Are There Any Reviews
Apart from the studies and product sources mentioned in this article, the best Dihydromyricetin Review available is the product review here on HangoverCure.org for Sobur Dihydromyricetin pills, our highest rated source of dihydromyricetin in capsule form.
If you are looking for DHM powder reviews, I have not found any specific run-downs of the options available, but I can highly recommend buying pure powder form from BulkDHM.com.
Is Dihydromyricetin Safe?
There have been no dihydromyricetin tests specifically into the side effects when consumed by humans, but several insightful studies looking into the benefits of consumption have concluded that overall: dihydromyricetin is more then safe for human to use.
Former head of the advisory on drugs for the British government, David Nutt, is optimistic that the data gathered on the study involving mice as subjects would have the same results on humans.
The study he is referring to supports the theory that GABA receptors play a major role in the actions of alcohol on the human body. It has been shown that targeting this interaction could be a workable approach in lessening alcohol consumption and solving the menacing problem of ‘hangovers’ in recreational drinkers once and for all.
There are some alcohol consumption experts who are doubtful about there ever being a “sobriety pill” because it could cause further problems amongst the public, possibly encouraging people to drink more rather than encourage them to drink less!
The clinical director of the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Markus Heilig, also showed concern on the development of an alcohol antidote. The major concern being that having a solution to drunkenness and hangovers would only tempt people to consume more alcohol and then rely on the alcohol antidote to stop the intoxicating effects.
Can It Effect or Damage the Liver?
On the contrary, DHM has been shown in research to actually act as a protectant against alcohol damage to the liver, meaning it has hepatprotective qualities.
One study, headed up by a researcher named Jian Xi, called the Effect of juice and fermented vinegar from Hovenia dulcis peduncles on chronically alcohol-induced liver damage in mice showed that dihydromyricetin significantly protects against alcohol-induced liver damage.
A separate study showed that dihydromyricetin also has the ability to reduce injuries previously made to the liver.
Essentially, it’s a protective tool for your liver while drinking, but also useful for helping to repair the damage caused to your liver following excessive alcohol consumption.
Is There A Recommended Dosage for Dihydromyricetin?
Based on studies with animals, human maximum doses have only been estimated so far.
The original study on DHM states that “Clinically, the Hovenia dosage range used for a hangover is 100 – 650mg/kg.”
Total flavonoids purified from Hovenia are 4.53% of the extract, of which DHM accounts for 40%, suggesting a 1–15 mg/kg dose for behavioural assays.”
– Li, 1590 – http://www.jneurosci.org/content/32/1/390.full.pdf
Further, an dihydromyricetin extract of 125mg per kilogram of bodyweight has been used in rats with efficacy, which translates to an estimated human dosage of 1400mg of DHM extract for a 150lb person, 1800mg for a 200lb person and 2300mg for a 250lb person.
There are no apparent side-effects from larger doses of dihydromyricetin taken by humans, so larger dosages are just wasteful when the amounts shown above are more then effective for most peoples purposes (eliminating hangovers).
In one particular study, up to 200mg/kg of dihydromyricetin was given to rats and found to have no negative side effects. This scales up to 48.892mg per kg of bodyweight in a human, or 3422mg for a 70kg person (150lbs).
Most hangover cure products containing dihydromyricetin use amounts between 2-300mg per capsule/serving, which, depending on bodyweight and the amount of alcohol consumed, is more then enough to sober most people up (if not one serving/pill, then two will definitely do the job) while staying way under maximum recommended doses.
For alternative uses of DHM and the recommended dosages, please see the relevant medical studies relating to that application for dosages or seek further advice from a medical practitioner.
How Much Does Dihydromyricetin (powder) Cost?
The Dihydromyricetin extract can be purchased in either pure powder form or capsule form. When looking to buy a batch of DHM powder I came across two decent sources, the Alibaba market and a website called BulkDHM.
Dihydromyricetin Powder from Alibaba
If you are looking for the cheapest source of bulk raw dihydromyricetin, the best source is always going to be a manufacturer or processor from Asia, of which there are many on Alibaba. Prices can vary depending on who you are buying from and the quality of their DHM.
DHM powder available to buy from Alibaba marketplace
The main problem with buying directly from the source
is quality, you want to make sure you are buying the highest quality dhm powder and that there is no impurities or harmful substances that you might ingest within the extract powder. I am not an expert on testing extracts, so I can only suggest doing some research on proper testing of substances & supplements before purchasing and ingesting any substance from a Chinese/oriental supplier.
You also want to make sure that the dihydromyricetin you buy hasn’t been diluted with other substances, so make sure you go for a 99% or higher powder. Always ask for a COA (certificate of analysis) before ordering to ensure quality.
Dihydromyricetin Powder from BulkDHM
BulkDHM is based in the UK, and their pricing is pretty straightforward at £40 GBP per 25g powder packet. If you’re using this purely for hangover prevention/cure, you would take a dose of about 300mg per drinking session, meaning a cost of about £0.48 GBP per serving. Pretty cheap, if you ask me!
Our DHM is produced in a GMP and ISO rated facility, and worldwide shipping is included in the price. Each vegetarian capsule contains 300mg of pure Dihydromyricetin DHM, and we recommend 1-2 capsules for each night out.
They include worldwide delivery in their pricing, so check out their website or get in contact with them for a good source of bulk powdered dihydromyricetin.
Where Can I Buy Dihydromyricetin Pills Online?
http://www.sobur.co/dihydromyricetin is, as far as I have seen and tested, the main reputable supplier of Dihydromyricetin pills and the best place to buy dhm online.
Best Dihydromyricetin Pills
I have independently seen and tested their product, and it’s effective & well priced (view my review here http://hangovercure.org/hangover-cures/reviews/sobur/) We recommend them as the best place online to Buy Dihydromyricetin due to their quick shipping times, flat worldwide delivery rates ($2 US & $6 international, last time I looked) and for being the first company to create a quality DHM product backed by science.
Click here to Buy DHM today from www.Sobur.co