Background: Overconsumption of alcohol has significant negative effects on an individual's health and contributes to an enormous economic impact on society as a whole. Pharmacotherapies to curb excessive drinking are important for treating alcohol use disorders.
Methods: Twenty (20) men participated in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, between subjects design experiment (n=10/group) that tested the effects of kudzu extract (Alkontrol-Herbal™) for its ability to alter alcohol consumption in a natural settings laboratory. A single dose of kudzu extract (2g total with an active isoflavone content of 520mg) or placebo was administered 2.5h before the onset of a 90min afternoon drinking session during which participants had the opportunity to drink up to 6 beers ad libitum; water and juice were always available as alternative beverages.
Results: During the baseline session, the placebo-randomized group consumed 2.7±0.78 beers before treatment and increased consumption to 3.4±1.1 beers after treatment. The kudzu group significantly reduced consumption from 3.0±1.7 at baseline to 1.9±1.3 beers after treatment. The placebo-treated group opened 33 beers during baseline conditions and 38 following treatment whereas the kudzu-treated group opened 32 beers during baseline conditions and only 21 following treatment. Additionally, kudzu-treated participants drank slower.
Conclusion: This is the first demonstration that a single dose of kudzu extract quickly reduces alcohol consumption in a binge drinking paradigm. These data add to the mounting clinical evidence that kudzu extract may be a safe and effective adjunctive pharmacotherapy for alcohol abuse and dependence.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01596231.
Keywords: Alcohol; Binge drinking; Isoflavone; Kudzu; The study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NTC no. 01596231).
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