Navigation Links
'Good Feelings' From Alcohol Only Come With Fewer Drinks
Date:3/19/2009

Rat study suggests pleasurable endorphin release ends as drinking gets heavier

THURSDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that when it comes to getting pleasure from alcohol, less may be more.

Experiments in rats suggest that a low or moderate amount of drinking releases "feel-good" brain chemicals called beta-endorphins, but this activity tapers off with heavier drinking.

"Drinking the low amounts of alcohol is associated with mild euphoria, decreased anxiety and a general feeling of well-being, while drinking high amounts of alcohol is associated with sedative, hypnotic effects and often with increased anxiety," said study author Christina Gianoulakis, a professor of psychiatry and physiology at McGill University and Douglas Mental Health University Institute, in Montreal.

The bottom line: "If after consumption of about two drinks of alcohol an individual does not experience the pleasant effects of alcohol, he or she should stop drinking," Gianoulakis said.

In the study, researchers injected male laboratory rats with saline or alcohol and tracked levels of opioid brain chemicals such as endorphins, enkephalins and dynorphins.

Rodents given low to moderate levels of alcohol showed increased levels of beta-endorphins, which produce a feeling of well-being in humans, while those given higher levels of alcohol did not. The same doses did not alter levels of the other the two other opioids, enkephalins and dynorphins.

Higher doses of alcohol failed to trigger the same release of beta-endorphins, the team found.

The study results were published online March 19 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and will be available in the journal's June print issue.

Besides helping to explain the "buzz" that comes with light, social drinking, the research may have implications for the treatment of alcoholism, experts said.

"We're always looking for medications that can be used with the alcoholic to cut back on craving and dependency," noted Dr. Marc Galanter, director of the division of alcoholism and drug abuse in the department of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine in New York City. "That's why this whole neurotransmitter system is one area where we may find useful medications."

While medications that curb alcoholism by acting on brain chemicals are already prescribed today, Gianoulakis speculated that future research may lead to even more targeted therapies.

"Among the current treatments of alcoholism is administration of substances that block the activity of opioid peptides in a non-specific fashion [all opioid peptides in all brain regions]," she explained. "Our findings suggest that a more targeted approach may be developed by blocking the activity of beta-endorphin in the [brain's] ventral tegmental area."

But researchers say additional research is needed to better understand the relationship between alcohol and endorphins and to further develop treatments to treat the disease, beginning with studies involving human beings who actually consume alcohol.

"This is a laboratory study, so it's not easy to extrapolate from this study into specific effects on people in real-life situations," Galanter said. "But it does illustrate how that whole domain is important in research for alcoholism treatment."

Until definitive conclusions are drawn, addiction specialists and physicians continue to advocate that healthy adults consume alcohol in moderation.

"Consumption of high amounts of alcohol not only will fail to increase the release of endorphins and produce a feeling of well-being, but may stimulate other systems in the brain that may lead to the development of anxiety and depression," said Gianoulakis. "My advice to everyone is to drink less alcohol, because more is not necessarily better."

More information

To learn more about alcohol abuse, visit the U.S.National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism .



SOURCES: Christina Gianoulakis, Ph.D., professor, psychiatry and physiology, McGill University and Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Montreal; Marc Galanter, M.D., director, division of alcoholism and drug abuse, department of psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York City; June 2009 Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Weight Watchers(R) Expands Licensed Food Categories with Launch of New Baked Goods, Frozen Novelty and Cheese Products to Encourage a More Sensible Lifestyle
2. A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
3. Goodbye needle, hello smoothie
4. Fish health claims may cause more environmental harm than good: UBC-St. Michaels researchers
5. Cancer Screening Tests Could Do More Harm Than Good: Readers Digest April Cover Story
6. The National Kidney Foundation of Florida Commends Senator Thad Altman, Representative Ritch Workman for Co-Sponsoring Common Sense Legislation Widely Hailed as Good for Patients, Good for Taxpayers, Good for Florida
7. Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
8. Tired? Sleepless? ... New Sleep Program Good Night, Sleep Right(TM) Launches in April 2009
9. Netherlands Vaccine Institute Chooses TrackWise(R) Solution for Enterprise-wide Compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices
10. Zone Diet Creator Dr. Barry Sears to Talk About Latest Book Toxic Fat: When Good Fat Turns Bad
11. Say Goodbye to Unsightly Bruises and Skin Discolorations with Bruise Relief(TM)
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
'Good Feelings' From Alcohol Only Come With Fewer Drinks 
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... and safety labels , has been featured in the National Electrical ... The eiXtra e-newsletter provides electroindustry professionals with manufacturer, regulatory, and standardization news. The ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... After graduating from Cornell, author Joshua Alexander ... on medication, living on Social Security disability and staying in a group home. In ... It!” (published by Balboa Press), Alexander shares how he was finally able to heal ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Design Concepts , a ... del Quinto Sol Wheel Park’ in Pueblo, Colorado. This park was designed working ... special for this often overlooked neighborhood. Located at 609 E. 6th Street, Pueblo’s ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... NutraPre today announced the nationwide release ... to prevent morning sickness and promote overall heath. Engineered with advanced nanotechnology, this ... of water. , “Imagine a pregnancy without morning sickness,” NutraPre CEO Eddie Cameron ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... ... to an article published May 12th on the Medical Daily, as a great ... article points out that, as long as patients are brushing as they should – twice ... course, these worn-out bristles won’t clean teeth and gum tissue as effectively, so the article ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/19/2016)... Oregon , May 19, 2016 ... titled, World Medical/Diagnostic Imaging Market -Opportunities and Forecasts, 2015 ... reach $45.0 billion by 2022, registering a CAGR of ... expected to continue to be the highest revenue-generating segment ... accounted for around one-third of the market share ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... -- The equities market is never short of ... is without doubt the Healthcare space. ActiveWallSt.com has uncovered four ... Alkermes PLC (NASDAQ: ALKS ), AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... IDXX ), and Atossa Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... http://www.activewallst.com/ On Wednesday, Alkermes PLC,s ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... 2016 MGB Biopharma, a ... Anti-infectives, Welcomes the Final Instalment of Lord Jim ...   Lord Jim O,Neill,s ... recommendations, providing a comprehensive action plan for the ... rising threat of superbugs - something that could ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: