Chemicals found in the root of kudzu plants are used to treat alcohol abuse in Traditional Chinese Medicine. To study the benefits of kudzu, the authors tested whether puerarin, an isoflavone from kudzu root, can alter the voluntary alcohol use by a group of people. They were each given a dose of 1200 mg. puerarin daily for a week. Half of the group were given a placebo secretly. They were then given an afternoon drinking session lasting 1½ hours. During that time they could drink up to 6 bottles of their favorite beer, with juice and water. The results of the session were scored by time spent drinking, sip volume and the total amount of alcohol consumed. The groups were reversed, and the study repeated, so the opposite groups were puerarin-treated and placebo tested.
The results were that the group on placebo drank an average of 3.5 beers, and the group that received puerarin drank an average of 2.4 beers in the session. None of those on puerarin drank 5 or 6 beers. Of those on placebo, one drank 5 beers and one drank 6.
People who received puerarin were observed to take smaller sips of beer, took longer to finish a beer, and more time before opening another beer.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that puerarin from kudzu root may change the drinking patterns of some people. Puerarin and kudzu can be used to aid in the treatment of alcohol abuse.
NOTE: Kudzu is an invasive vine that grows profusely in southeastern United States to the detriment of the forests there. It was brought from China and Japan as a medicinal herb and a food for cattle. It grows so well in southeastern United States that grows it up into the treetops. The canopy forms shade and kills the trees below by stealing the sunlight. Kudzu is a legume which produces large amounts of nitrogen products in the soil, doubling the emission of nitric oxide. Actually, the nitrogen seeps into the water and the air, contributing to ozone imbalance.
Puerarin is an aromatase enzyme inhibitor as are a number of pharmaceutical drugs for treating breast cancer. Kudzu has been shown to be of benefit in preventing and treating breast cancer in some laboratory studies. Kudzu reduces the side effects of chemotherapy and is of benefit in treating endometriosis. This study was a Pilot Study, meaning it could be a preliminary study to a larger study involving more people and treatment for a longer period of time.
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Summary 933. nutrientmedicine