by Mila McManus, MD
Recognizing that we don’t live in a perfect world, and that alcohol consumption is a real component of many holiday celebrations, below you’ll find some recommendations to help protect your brain and liver from alcohol toxicity while still enjoying a libation or two. Optimal health is impossible with routine alcohol consumption; however, I live in the real world and I’m a realist. At the bottom, you will find an elaborate, well researched article you can check out if you want the long of it. Here are some recommendations, for the short of it.
The key protective supplements, minerals, and vitamins that can help protect your brain and liver are vitamin C, B vitamins, glutathione (and/or its precursor NAC), milk thistle, and lipoic acid. Ideally, you want to start your evening with plenty of hydration and a handful of these supplements. It may also be helpful to take a second dose before going to bed, or even during your celebration, if the time frame is prolonged.
Hepatothera Forte is available at our facility, and this contains several of these supplements (selenium, milk thistle, lipoic acid, and NAC). Taking this with 1000-2000 mg of Vitamin C, and a multivitamin, would be a decent combination. N-Acetyl-Cysteine (aka NAC) and Vitamin C are another good pair, again along with a multivitamin with a range of B’s in it to protect the brain, replenish glutathione levels, and block the toxicity of alcohol when taken before, during, and after drinking.
The author of the aforementioned article (link below) determined, based on both experience and research, that vodka, gin, and rum seem to have the least impact on the brain or creating a hangover, while everything else has more detrimental impacts including most wines, ciders, tequila, whiskey, and beer. Beer lands in last place for the worst hangover experience. That could be personal experience, but take it for what its worth.
Have a safe, wise, and Happy New Year! Cheers!