It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
New Study Suggests Kudzu Helps Curb Binge Drinking
BOSTON (AP) -- The hardy, invasive kudzu vine, introduced to this country decades ago to control soil erosion, could have what it takes to curb binge drinking, new research suggests.
Kudzu, an ever-expanding plant considered a pest in much of the South, appears to contain a compound that can be effective in reducing alcohol intake among humans.
Researcher Scott Lukas did not have any trouble rounding up volunteers for his study, published in this month's issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
Lukas' team at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital set up a makeshift "apartment" in a laboratory, complete with a television, reclining chair and a refrigerator stocked with beer.
Findings show that subjects who took kudzu drank an average of 1.8 beers per session, compared with the 3.5 beers consumed by those who took a placebo.
Lukas was not certain why but speculated that kudzu increases blood alcohol levels and speeds up its effects. More simply put, the subjects needed fewer beers to feel drunk.
"That rapid infusion of alcohol is satisfying them and taking away their desire for more drinks," Lukas said. "That's only a theory. It's the best we've got so far."
In 2003, David Overstreet and other scientists found the herb to be effective in reducing alcohol intake on rats.