Kudzu Root: What It Is, Benefits, Side Effects and More

The impact of excessive alcohol consumption results in increased healthcare costs, loss of productivity, alcohol-related crime , and motor vehicle accidents. A. She took kudzu-root extract (available in health-food stores). In its native China, kudzu has long been used to help people kudzu extract for alcoholism control their desire for alcohol. Lukas and colleagues note that kudzu’s effects, in this sense, might be useful for reducing binge drinking or helping some people stay sober by minimizing the chance that a “slip” of having one drink will result in a full alcoholic relapse.

The participants reported their desire for and consumption of alcohol for the duration of the study. Researchers found that the kudzu extract had no effect on alcohol cravings, but it reduced the number of weekly alcoholic drinks by 34–57% . A standardized kudzu extract (NPI-031) reduces alcohol consumption in nontreatment-seeking male heavy drinkers. The kudzu extract diadzein has been isolated as an aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH-2) inhibitor, which has been shown in animal models to reduce excessive drinking. Synthetic versions of this selective ALDH-2 inhibitor are being investigated as potential medications to suppress relapse in abstinent alcoholics. More clinical trials will need to be conducted to better understand the efficacy of kudzu extracts or synthetic variants for treatment of alcohol dependence. Harvard researchers first discovered the anti-drinking effects of the kudzu extract in 2005. Previous studies had shown that kudzu extracts reduced alcohol drinking in rats and hamsters. In this study, researchers tested the effect of kudzu extract on drinking by humans in a naturalistic setting. 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.

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Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. The information we provide while responding to comments is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The responses to comments on fitrecovery.com are designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition. Dr. Rebeca Sober House Eriksen is the Nutritional Consultant for Fit Recovery. She has a PhD in Nutritional Genetics from Imperial College London, and over ten years of clinical experience designing custom nutritional repair regimens for patients recovering from alcohol addiction. In addition to her work at the exclusive Executive Health clinic in Marbella, Spain, she helps to keep Fit Recovery up to date with emerging research.

A single dose of kudzu extract reduces alcohol consumption in a binge drinking paradigm. An extract of the Chinese herbal root kudzu reduces alcohol drinking by heavy drinkers in a naturalistic setting. “Recently, preclinical studies with animals have shown reductions in alcohol consumption when treated with isoflavones contained in the kudzu root,” said Penetar. “Therefore, the next step in the research was to assess the effects of kudzu extract on different physical, behavioral and cognitive features in humans.” For targeting alcohol dependence, studies have used dosages of 1.2 grams of kudzu root extract per day over 1 week, or a single dose of 2 grams before drinking alcohol, without noted side effects . In some instances, even a single dose of kudzu extract reduced alcohol consumption and prevented binge drinking . Lukas SE, Penetar D, Berko J, Vicens L, Palmer C, Mallya G, Macklin EA, Lee DY-W. An extract of the Chinese herbal root kudzu reduces alcohol drinking by heavy drinkers in a naturalistic setting.

Chinese Herb Kudzu May Help Drinkers Cut Down

Kudzu treatment also resulted in the number of sips and length of time for consuming each beer, as well as a decrease in the volume of each sip. Individuals treated with kudzu extract drank less beer, and they drank more slowly. There were no reported side effects from treatment with the kudzu extract. Data suggest that the administration of kudzu root extract does not disturb sleep/wake cycles of moderate drinkers, and as such its utility as an adjunct treatment for alcohol dependence remains free of any potential side-effects on sleep. This is a study designed to test whether a single administration of kudzu extract will significantly reduce the number of drinks consumed during a single 1 ½ hours drinking session when given as pretreatment 2 ½ hours before the drinking session. Daidzin, a compound found in the kudzu vine, interferes with the metabolization of alcohol and produces effects similar to those of the anti-drinking drug Antabuse.

It may also have other benefits, such as for menopausal symptoms. Kudzu root is linked to a wide range of potential health benefits from easing menopausal symptoms to treating alcohol dependence. Still, more research needs to be done to prove whether it’s truly effective. A small study showed that in heavy drinkers of alcohol, kudzu did result in a reduction of the number of beers consumed after 7 days of treatment. A study of heavy drinkers who were not in a treatment program found that taking kudzu had no effect on their alcohol cravings. But it did reduce the number of drinks they had each week by a third to a half.

Kudzu

This interpretation of kudzu’s possible mechanism of action was also suggested by Wong et al. who postulated that kudzu alters peripheral and cerebral blood flow. Puerarin, one of the most abundant isoflavones in kudzu root extracts, is a known vasodilator and is approved for such use in China following coronary infarction and stroke (Wu et al., 2014). Regardless of the mechanism of action, the present finding that a modest, single dose of kudzu extract reduces binge drinking has profound implications as it offers a unique opportunity for early intervention for problem drinkers. As an herbal plant extract, kudzu can be made available without a prescription. While it does not completely eliminate drinking, it is clearly effective in significantly reducing intake, which offers individuals an opportunity to engage in more responsible drinking patterns. As a safe, over-the-counter preparation, kudzu may be used alone in initial attempts to curb alcohol consumption, but it may also become a useful adjunct to the currently available prescription medications. This latter scenario might very well permit the use of lower doses of prescription medications and thus reduce the incidence of side effects. Furthermore, because kudzu extract exerts its beneficial effects within hours of the first dose, it could be administered along with a prescription medication and provide “coverage” until the other medication begins to work. This is the first demonstration that a single dose of kudzu extract quickly reduces alcohol consumption in a binge drinking paradigm.
kudzu extract for alcoholism
Comparison of Pueraria mirifica gel and conjugated equine estrogen cream effects on vaginal health in postmenopausal women. Anti-diabetic potential of Pueraria lobata root extract through promoting insulin signaling by PTP1B inhibition. Applications of Pueraria lobata in treating diabetics and reducing alcohol drinking. Here are our best tips to find the perf kudzu root supplement. It’s marketed as a treatment for alcoholism, diabetes, and inflammation. We read the research to find out what science has to say about this plant. Kudzu vine forms new roots from stem nodes touching the ground. Thick storage roots grow as deep as 1 meter in the ground. It produces large numbers of seeds that are disseminated by animals, especially birds. The plant is drought tolerant and frosts kill only the aboveground parts of the vine.

Medication for Cravings in Substance Use Disorders

When given equal amounts of alcohol, kudzu- and placebo-treated individuals respond similarly (Penetar et al., 2011). Another study found that kudzu may really “affect alcohol consumption patterns.” In this same study, people who took an isoflavone extract from the kudzu plant before drinking took longer to reach for the liquor cabinet. In fact, even a single dose of kudzu extract may be helpful if you’re looking to reduce your drinking. Kudzu root gets some serious rep’ for helping folks ease off of the booze. One small study looking at the effects of kudzu in a group of men that reported drinking between 22 and 35 drinks per week shows promising results. After consuming kudzu extract for 4 weeks, the participants reduced their number of weekly alcoholic beverages by at least a third. The study found the treatment with the kudzu extract resulted in a significant reduction in the number of beers consumed.
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In one study, people who binge drink took either kudzu extract or a placebo before a 90-minute session of drinking beer. The researchers observed 12 men and women in a double-blind placebo-controlled study. The participants were either treated with kudzu or a placebo for nine days, and then received a medium or high alcohol challenge to determine how prominently they presented alcohol-related symptoms. In an initial 90-minute session in the “apartment,” each subject was allowed to consume as many beers as he or she wanted—up to a maximum of six. After the session, each was given either puerarin or a placebo and told to take it daily for a week. Two weeks later, the subjects returned for a third session to see if they had returned to their baseline drinking levels.

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