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> Alcohol effects on brain, and how to minimize them
andrell
post Jan 26, 2009, 09:11 AM
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I'm a binge drinker or how to say- I like to get drunk like once a month (or less) with my friends, because we enjoy it very much, we're having a great laugh, a lot of funny things happen during being drunk and then later we remember those over and over. Anyways, the point is that I would not want to stop drinking here and then.

But at the same time I'm one of the top students, ambitius, wanting to achieve a lot with the use of my intelect, and this is also important part of my life. I lack other thing and in the past I always somehow managed to compensate them with my brain and intelect.

Here my problem starts. I read and hear about negative effects on brain cells caused by alcohol, so I have some questions. Please take into consideration that I'm talking about so much alcohol per night to get drunk, not dead drunk, but neither just a few drinks.


1. Does alcohol really damage ones brain so much? So researches say so, some state that production of brain cells stop during drinking and then when sobriety is back our brain experience great burst in production of new cells. Which is true?

2. How many times per year shoud I get drunk max to minimize the bad effects on brain because it is really important for me not to lose brain capacity.

3. What supplement should I use to minimize or to avoid cell destruction and when to take them (before? during? after drinking?). Does drinking a lot of water during the drunk period help significantly against brain damage or it is just good for getting rid of hungover? Or taking extra B1 vitamin perhaps?

4. Is there any safer drug than alcohol (in the sense of brain impairement) that exists and can be used instead of alcohol?

5. Any extra stuff you would like to comment on that topic would be appreciated.

Thank you for your time:)



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Rick
post Jan 26, 2009, 12:21 PM
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Cannabis is much less damaging than alcohol, according to all the sources I've seen. No hangover either, it's been reported. There is some concern about lung damage from smoke, but ingestion in some cooked foods has been used as an alternative.
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Hey Hey
post Jan 26, 2009, 03:00 PM
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There is no "safe" drug. It all depends on the dosage and the physiology of the imbiber.
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Rick
post Jan 26, 2009, 04:18 PM
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But as drugs go, cannabis is reportedly extremely benign. I have never heard of a case of death from overdose. Never heard of any report of toxicity or organ damage at all.
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Hey Hey
post Jan 26, 2009, 05:04 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jan 27, 2009, 12:18 AM) *

But as drugs go, cannabis is reportedly extremely benign. I have never heard of a case of death from overdose. Never heard of any report of toxicity or organ damage at all.
Few citations but as a brief intro:

http://www.cannabis-med.org/english/patients-side-fx.htm
http://www.info-drug-rehab.com/marijuana.html
http://www.cannabis.net/therapeutic/side-effects.html

I'm not arguing a case against cannabis, but it is not without side-effects. Certainly, alcohol and cigarette smoking harm and kill far more.

Wikipaedia states quite succinctly:

Smoking of cannabis is the most harmful method of consumption, since the combination of inhalation of smoke from organic materials such as tobacco, wood, gasoline and cannabis can cause various health problems. However, recent studies have shown that using a vaporizer for cannabis consumption appears to eliminate almost all of the health problems and objections related to cannabis use.

A 2007 study by the Canadian government found cannabis smoke contained more toxic substances than tobacco smoke. The study determined that marijuana smoke contained 20 times more ammonia, and five times more hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen oxides than tobacco smoke. In spite of this, recent studies have been unable to demonstrate a direct link between lung cancer and frequent direct inhalation of marijuana smoke. While many researchers have failed to find a correlation, some researchers still conclude that marijuana smoke poses a higher risk of lung cancer than tobacco. Some studies have even shown that the non-psychoactive ingredient CBD found in marijuana may be useful in treating breast cancer.

Smoking cannabis is a potentially harmful method of consuming cannabis, yet the most practiced.

Cannabis use has been assessed by several studies to be correlated with the development of anxiety, psychosis and depression, however, no causal mechanism has been proven, and the meaning of the correlation and its direction is a subject of debate that has not been resolved in the scientific community. Some studies assess that the causality is more likely to involve a path from cannabis use to psychotic symptoms rather than a path from psychotic symptoms to cannabis use, while others assess the opposite direction of the causality, or hold cannabis to only form parts of a "causal constellation", while not inflicting mental health problems that would not have occurred in the absence of the cannabis use.

Studies have also shown links between heavy long-term use (over five joints daily over several years) and incidence of heart attacks, strokes, as well as abnormalities in the amygdala and hippocampus regions of the brain.
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Rick
post Jan 26, 2009, 05:11 PM
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Your references confirm what I said: it's a relatively benign drug.
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Hey Hey
post Jan 26, 2009, 05:13 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jan 27, 2009, 01:11 AM) *

Your references confirm what I said: it's a relatively benign drug.
I see you kept the term "relatively". That's good.
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Rick
post Jan 26, 2009, 05:16 PM
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Did you think I was advocating it? Just noting that if you have to do some drug to go out of your skull, alcohol is just about the worst choice there is.
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Hey Hey
post Jan 26, 2009, 05:20 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jan 27, 2009, 01:16 AM) *

Did you think I was advocating it?
Not at all, just wanted to get the pharmacology and toxicology right.

QUOTE(Rick @ Jan 27, 2009, 01:16 AM) *
Just noting that if you have to do some drug to go out of your skull, alcohol is just about the worst choice there is.
It's pretty bad in lots of respects, that's for sure. And the generation 14yo-35yo seem to have set their stall out to pickle their livers in it (generalizing I know, but you get my drift?).
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Rick
post Jan 26, 2009, 05:22 PM
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Agree.
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Orbz
post Jan 26, 2009, 09:41 PM
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Anecdotally, I've heard that the LD50 for THC is how much THC oil it takes to drown 50% of the rats.
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code buttons
post Jan 26, 2009, 09:51 PM
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QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Jan 26, 2009, 05:20 PM) *

And the generation 14yo-35yo seem to have set their stall out to pickle their livers in it (generalizing I know, but you get my drift?).

Are you talking about some kind of social epidemic going on in the U.K. right now? I mean, drinking and binge drinking has always been a problem here and there (US/CAN/UK), but to name a specific age braket over the rest makes it sound like there's something else going on in your part of the world.
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trojan_libido
post Jan 27, 2009, 12:27 AM
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We brits drink until we're kicked out, or get the spins. I've no idea why that is, but I suppose people ignore the 'full' signal from their stomachs regularly too. I've never seen a person stop drinking alcohol half-way through the night (unless they're driving and only had a half).
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Hey Hey
post Jan 27, 2009, 07:20 AM
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QUOTE(code buttons @ Jan 27, 2009, 05:51 AM) *

QUOTE(Hey Hey @ Jan 26, 2009, 05:20 PM) *

And the generation 14yo-35yo seem to have set their stall out to pickle their livers in it (generalizing I know, but you get my drift?).

Are you talking about some kind of social epidemic going on in the U.K. right now? I mean, drinking and binge drinking has always been a problem here and there (US/CAN/UK), but to name a specific age braket over the rest makes it sound like there's something else going on in your part of the world.
There are statistics saying this, but the popular TV programmes showing our city streets at night (and the police raking up violent drunks) don't show many oldies! Good old labour government - see a problem with alcohol and then start 24 hour drinking laws! I'm pleased I don't live in a city and I certainly don't often go to one late at night as I'm not into raving, spewing and fighting.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3122548.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4824794.stm
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/265...an-thought.html
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/6558.php
sad.gif
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andrell
post Jan 27, 2009, 05:24 PM
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I like that the post got so many replies.

But I'd also like you to comment from your knowledge on how do minimize negative effects.

Woudl it be wise to add B-complex vitamines (for thiamine) and some antioxidants like C an lipoic acid on the drinking day, before, during and after consumption of alcohol. I've done some research on the internet and I have picked this up.

What do you say?
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Rick
post Jan 27, 2009, 08:43 PM
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QUOTE(andrell @ Jan 27, 2009, 05:24 PM) *
... But I'd also like you to comment from your knowledge on how do minimize negative effects.

Those vitamins can help. Here's some advice if you know you're going to drink, such as at a cocktail party, where you're having martinis or some equally serious alcohol:

1. Never drive after drinking. Either have a (sober driver) ride home or crash there. If you are home, even better.

2. Know your limit and don't exceed it. There's no cure for a serious hangover except time. For me (I weigh 100 kg), the limit is three martinis over about three or four hours. If you exceed your limit, even by one drink, you will regret it.

3. Eat before and during. Drink water beforehand. Never try to quench your thirst (as after a sport) with alcohol.

4. Drink a large glass of water before going to bed. Wake up later (you will anyway due to the rebound effect of ethanol withdrawl), piss, and drink more water. Feed a hangover in the morning with high energy food, and take B vitamins. After a night out is no time to worry about watching your weight!
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Hey Hey
post Jan 27, 2009, 10:46 PM
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Alcohol is metabolized in the liver:

Alcohol to aldehyde

Attached Image

Aldehyde to acid

Attached Image

It is the aldehyde that gives many of the nasty side-effects (esp sickness).

There are no good "cures" for hangovers. But some people swear by prevention that includes taking a normal dose of aspirin (max 1 gram) and Vitamin C (1 gram) with a litre of water prior to drinking. However, if you drink for prolonged period this will reduce the value of the preventative method. If you have any stomach problems (like reflux disease or ulcers, aspirin is bad for you; in fact even Vitamin C can be a problem in these conditions).

So really, moderation in drinking, with plenty of water along the way is the best policy.
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Rick
post Jan 28, 2009, 07:58 AM
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Dry martini recipe:

1. Chill the martini glass with ice cubes (five or six). No need to add water.

2. In a shaker add a pony (half a shot) of dry white vermouth.

3. Add two shots of Bombay Saphire gin.

4. Add the ice cubes from the glass and shake 49 times (007 squared).

Strain into the chilled martini glass and garnish with pimiento stuffed olive or, as Bond prefers, a twist of lemon. Hold the glass by the stem so it stays cold and sip it all down before it warms up.

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post Jan 28, 2009, 12:30 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Jan 28, 2009, 07:58 AM) *

Dry martini recipe:

1. Chill the martini glass with ice cubes (five or six). No need to add water.

2. In a shaker add a pony (half a shot) of dry white vermouth.

3. Add two shots of Bombay Saphire gin.

4. Add the ice cubes from the glass and shake 49 times (007 squared).

Strain into the chilled martini glass and garnish with pimiento stuffed olive or, as Bond prefers, a twist of lemon. Hold the glass by the stem so it stays cold and sip it all down before it warms up.


Not so fast:
"Tough times for porn, booze
Even sin isn't secure anymore. Gambling, sex, cigarettes and alcohol are among the supposedly recession-proof businesses hit hard by the economic downturn."


http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Inves...ze-sellers.aspx
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wavemast3r
post Oct 14, 2010, 11:39 AM
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Getting drunk a few times a month won't do anything. Proceed
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Hey Hey
post Oct 15, 2010, 02:42 AM
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QUOTE(wavemast3r @ Oct 14, 2010, 08:39 PM) *
Getting drunk a few times a month won't do anything. Proceed.
Unless you're an alcoholic in waiting. Plus, 'getting drunk' is a meaningless phrase as the extent and context are essential to provide a useful commentary. Fail.
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aethor
post Oct 15, 2010, 09:44 AM
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Google this since I can't post links yet: "Oxygen in alchohol science20"
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davijones
post Nov 17, 2010, 09:27 AM
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In a nutshell, alcohol depresses the central nervous system, causing the uninhibited, relaxed feeling that even the most casual drinker is familiar with. It does so mainly by interrupting brain communication suppressing the excitatory nerve pathway (by affecting glutamate) and increasing the inhibitory activity.
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lucid_dream
post Nov 22, 2010, 11:55 PM
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it's not as simple as depressing the CNS since it also inhibits inhibitory neurons, which could result in increased activity for neurons postsynaptic to inhibited inhibitory neurons.
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Trip like I do
post Nov 23, 2010, 05:13 PM
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QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Nov 23, 2010, 02:55 AM) *

it's not as simple as depressing the CNS since it also inhibits inhibitory neurons, which could result in increased activity for neurons postsynaptic to inhibited inhibitory neurons.

that is kind of profound and deep.... thanks for that insight into proper brain function lucid

.... inhibited inhibitory neurons.... I like that

do you think about this kinda stuff when you are sitting there swigging your 4th or 5th pint smile.gif
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turboracetam
post Sep 02, 2012, 05:47 AM
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whether its Alcohol or any other drug .. it effects brain along with other major parts of the body....
to reduce effects.. stop consuming it.. problem solved
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gnos
post Nov 26, 2012, 06:24 PM
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cannabis's effects on the brain are not harmless, especially during adolescence. a recent study showed that cannabis use during formative years causes a permanent mean drop of 8 IQ points, negatively influencing intelligence, memory, and attention. and cannabis negatively influences development of brain structures and regions, increasing your chances of schizophrenia and cannabis-induced psychosis. alcohol has its own bag of problems, but marijuana in this regard is worse than alcohol on the developing brain.
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Luminiferous
post Dec 18, 2012, 06:30 PM
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QUOTE(aethor @ Oct 15, 2010, 06:44 PM) *

Google this since I can't post links yet: "Oxygen in alchohol science20"


So oxygen enriched alcohol still gives us the pleasant effects on getting drunk but we get sober faster with less brain damage?

Eitherway there are no oxygen enriched alcohol available in the west right? Is there any way we can add oxygen to our drinks? (lol)

Also, like OP said, are there any other methods to decrease damage besides drinking a lot of water? I drink a full bottle of wine daily, is that so bad?
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Tone
post Mar 19, 2013, 09:27 PM
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One capsule of Kroeger's Wormwood Combination.
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