Hack Your Alcohol Consumption and Avoid Hangovers | Podcast #300

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Whether it’s a few glasses of wine with friends, beer over sports, or a fun night out, there’s ways you can enjoy drinking yet mitigate the health consequences and skip the hangover. What are some of the consequences of drinking too much alcohol? Gut damage, issues with blood sugar levels and gut permeability, candida overgrowth, adrenal stress, and more. The big stressors of a hangover is the acetaldehyde made from the alcohol and getting the body to process it into acetic acid. The enzyme responsible for this conversion is glutathione-based, so glutathione can help clear alcohol out of your system faster, think: N-acetylcysteine (NaC), liposomal glutathione, vitamin C, milk thistle. Since these help the catalase enzyme to clear the alcohol out of your body faster, it’ll also be better for your liver. These are the kind of tips and tricks Dr. J is dishing out (and more!) today and we’re pretty sure you’ll be using them to help avoid future hangovers. Drink responsibly and be safe!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:46      What is alcohol?

6:03      Alcohol Metabolism

15:18    Alcohol Poisoning

21:33    Blue Zones, Good and Bad choices for Alcohol

35:06   Alcohol Cravings

41:03    Different Types of Alcohol

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here. Today we’re going to be talking about how to hack your alcohol consumption. Again, people are out there, they’re gonna want to have a little bit of alcohol now and then maybe at the end of the week, maybe to kind of signify like, Hey, you know, the weeks over whatever it is, you’re relaxing, it’s summer, it’s fall, how can we do it in a way that’s one not gonna damage your body. But two, we can also hack the hangover, so we can do it responsibly and mitigate some of the health consequences. All right, Evan, what’s going on man? How are we doing? 

Evan Brand: All doing really well excited to dive into this thing with you read a quick article from USA today that said that since all the shutdown stuff happened, that alcohol sales, does that contribute to consumption as well? I’m sure it does. It didn’t say alcohol. Yeah. So said alcohol sales are up 27%. And this was since June. So that’s a big bump in alcohol sales and people are stressed out and I mean, you and I are working with clients. Everyday, all day people that have been laid off or furloughed or lost jobs or kids can’t go back to school or whatever else is going on with them. And so what are people going to do when they’re stressed? Well, hopefully they go meditate and go to the park, but they’re probably going to have extra alcohol too. And so we don’t want people to make themselves sick. We don’t want hangovers. We don’t want gut damage. We don’t want increased issues with blood sugar. We don’t want increased issues with gut permeability. We don’t want candida overgrowth, we don’t want all those things to happen. We don’t want adrenal stress and sleep issues that then affect energy and motivation and, and productivity. So, you know, alcohol can affect all of the body systems because of the impact on potentially blood sugar and adrenals and gut and all of it and so I think there is a way to do it smartly, which is what we’re going to dive into today. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. So, everyone talks about alcohol being a toxin, right? Well, alcohol essentially, is ethyl alcohol, and your liver has to metabolize that and break it down. So the metabolism goes like this. Alcohol, ethyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, that’s like a toxin, right? ethyl alcohol is the alcohol that we consume. That gets converted into acid aldehyde. And this enzyme here, right, this whole enzyme, it goes alcohol to acid aldehyde. And this is what alcohol dehydrogenase two right here, from alcohol to acid, aldehyde. And an acid aldehyde gets converted to a C to gas, which is basically apple cider vinegar. Okay, now acid aldehyde is the same compound that fungus or Candida actually produces. And that’s why Candida can actually make you feel a little bit drunk. Really, the big stressor. The big hangover stressor, is this acid aldehyde. Usually the body’s pretty efficient at taking alcohol and clearing it to acid out behind. It’s the acid aldehyde process that really has to go from acid aldehyde to Apple, the acetyl acetic acid right here, and we talked about this earlier. I think it was Asian descent right. Asian descent has a very, they they’re really efficient at taking alcohol and going to acid aldehyde. But they have a hard time of going acid aldehyde acetic acid. So this acid aldehyde increases, increases. And this acid aldehyde has a, let’s say histamine like effect. So high amounts of acid aldehyde can really increase that flushing kind of feeling. And so, a lot of people use the medication called Pepcid AC, which is that which is an h2 blocker. h2 blockers are an anti histamine. And what that does is anti histamines take the alcohol to acid out the high conversion they slow it down. So Asians they’re so fast at it, they increase their acid aldehyde like this acid aldehyde goes up. And so what they’re doing is they’re taking a h2 blocker to slow down the alcohol to acid aldehyde conversion again, it may help with the facial flushing and the histamine but not good on the liver because it’s creating more more that more of the alcohol is summer is basically surrounded That liver so your liver has to deal with the alcohol longer. It’s like you’re clogging up the coffee filter and it’s taking way longer to filter that out. Yep, you’re saying acid aldehyde. I think how you pronounce I think how you pronounce it is a sido. Allah cetyl alcohol. Yeah, I’ve always pronounced that as an aldehyde. I think someone where I learned about 10 years ago, they said it that way. I’ve heard it both ways. But yeah, a cetyl alcohol acetal aldehyde. So that’s going to be how it’s spelled. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s a big word. And you mentioned the issue with fungal overgrowth. And we’ve seen that a lot with people. Now when we’re talking about brain fog you and I’ve done so many podcasts on cognitive function issues, brain fog, anxiety, depression, those kinds of things. So if you’re somebody who has a Candida problem, maybe we should briefly go into this. This is you if you have a Candida problem. You’re probably not a good candidate for it. Now, could you get away with a little bit here and there, maybe so but if I have clients where we see that they’ve got major brands, Fogg, they have cognitive problems, they have memory problems, they go into a room and they forget why they’re in there, they lose their keys all the time, that kind of thing. And they show up with Candida on their labs, I’m going to tell them, hey, best case scenario, the question always comes up. And what about alcohol? I say, based on what’s going on, probably wise to stay away from it for a month or two while we get your gutter under control. And then let’s add it back in later, and you know, at a small amount and see how you do so I think there are some cases where you know, you and I work with quite a lot of people that are that are quite sick, and they don’t feel very well. So in those cases, we may try to say, hey, you can hack it like we’re going to talk about today. Or maybe just stay away, let’s let’s get your gut in better shape, let’s get your liver in better shape, especially if there’s a big mold problem. I’m gonna say, Man, your liver already needs help and, or if we test their chemical profile, we see they got a ton of pesticide herbicide. It’s like, ah, I really don’t want to add any more toxins to the bucket. So I personally try to stray people away from it, but at a certain point, you know that people want to live their life and have fun and that’s one of the ways people live. in society have fun. So then we go into the hex. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So just kind of talking about the alcohol metabolism one more time, right? We have ethanol, that’s our alcohol that goes to a seal out acetaldehyde acid aldehyde. Right? This the enzyme that’s responsible for that conversion, guess what it is? It’s catalysts. And catalyst is a glutathione dependent enzyme. So having good glue ion function helps you go alcohol ethanol, to acetyl aldehyde. That’s glue to fire independent as catalysts and then acetyl aldehyde to acetic acid or acetate, right? That’s going to be your apple cider vinegar. This is alcohol dehydrogenase to ALDH2. Okay, and so this is the enzyme A lot of people have a hard time with the Asians, they have a hard time clearing that and so the acid aldehyde goes up really high. So big things I want to highlight here, we’ll talk about it in the strategy standpoint. glutathione is good because glutathione clears the alcohol out of your system fast. So things like n acetylcysteine liposomal glutathione s acetyl glutathione, vitamin C, milk thistle, things that help increase catalyze clear the alcohol out of your body faster, that’s less stress on the liver. But then now we have this acetal aldehyde thing that has to happen next. And so typically, I’m going to I’m going to guarantee that a ldh is going to be supported and boosted via glutathione. And a lot of those nutrients some way shape or form. So I’ll try to pull that up here as well on the enzyme standpoint. Any comments on that? 

Evan Brand: Yeah, I think milk thistle is something that’s pretty cool too. I don’t have any papers that are just specifically milk those by itself. But we know milk thistle is very, very beneficial for protecting the liver. So I think if you were to take which you and I have several of our own, like a liver complex or maybe you’ve got Got some and AC milk thistle which the active ingredient is silymarin. And that helps to act as an antioxidant and an anti inflammatory in right paddock cells. And here we go, I’ve actually got something right here that the milk thistle is going to help metabolize toxic compounds lowering the damage to the liver cells in the process. So there’s a guy here Dr. Weston child who was talking about silymarin. And he said, although it’s helpful, he said it’s not a cure all. And it doesn’t reduce all the damage from drinking in excess. However, it can help heal the process once the person has stopped drinking. Bla bla bla bla bla, so a parent Apparently, the in German, Germans in Germany, apparently they’re recommending milk thistle to treat liver toxicity. So yeah, so long story short, I mean, any of the stuff we’re typically doing clinically to help the liver is is going to be beneficial and protective. Now here’s one funny thing. So the wine industry You know, it’s all about resveratrol, right? It’s like resveratrol, resveratrol wine. But, you know, according to just looking at some of these labels and the actual amount of milligrams of resveratrol, you’re getting in red wine, you would literally have to drink like 100 bottles to get the amount of resveratrol that you would get in a single pill supplement.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know. Yeah. So a little bit. Yeah, it’s a little off there. I mean, there’s a lot of Blue Zones. These are very healthy parts of the world that live a very long time into the hundreds, you know, over 100, and they do consume some alcohol. So I don’t think alcohol should be looked at like it’s this unbelievable toxin on the body. I mean, I think there may be a mild stress to it, right? But exercise is a stress, right? So I think there’s have been a little bit of stress on the body does help with adaptation. The key is, is allowing your body to receive that stress and allow you to be able to adapt to it as efficiently as possible. Instead of it being the stressor you put in your bucket that causes your bucket to overflow. Now it’s going to be the stressor. helps make your body a little bit stronger. By just getting back here briefly, I found one article here talking about acetyl aldehyde. And it talks about the fact that cysteine and glycine again, which are the two major backbones to making gluten, what’s clewd a file and it’s a tri peptide, right? tri meaning three, glutamine, glycine. cysteine are the three amino acids in glutathione. So it talks about Long live sulfur containing bio molecules, including cysteine and glycine that incorporate acetyl aldehyde might affect cysteine, including ion homeostasis and also plays a protective role in reducing circulating acetyl aldehyde levels. Okay, this is one article called binding of acetyl aldehyde to a glutathione metabolite, so glutathione does bind up acetyl aldehyde. So we talked about an acetyl cysteine. We talked about glycine and bone broth, we are now glutamine. We also talked about things like Milk Thistle are silymarin, which are actually a glutathione recycler, so is cortisol that helps maintain the recycling of glutathione. And then of course, taking lipids, omo glutathione, itself. And then also things like charcoal, I think also have a positive effect at binding up a pseudo aldehyde as well. So look at acetyl aldehyde and charcoal, you can take binders that help you right here, a study of acetyl aldehyde absorption on activated carbons, right, which essentially activated carbons is going to be what you see with activated charcoal. We’ll talk about that in a second. 

Evan Brand: I saw that one. So here’s what you’re saying. You’re basically saying you should make a Grass Fed Whey Protein Shake that’s going to be loaded with cysteine and all that make you a grass fed protein smoothie with a shot of vodka added to it. You’re going to have a good time. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, it depends on how you want to do it. Right. I think that’s there’s there’s definitely a couple of options right? So when I look at alcohol consumption, right, the first part is choosing healthier versions of alcohol. We’ll talk about that in a second. The second is how do you detoxify? So there’s a couple of mitigating effects. Alcohol is a diuretic. Some of the effects that you have on alcohol is the fact that you are decreasing ADH antidiuretic hormone from the post here pituitary. Okay. So, I hate when they do double negatives. Remember double negatives equal a positive. All right, so anti diuretic so diuretic means it’s your diuretic means it makes you pee. So it’s the anti. It’s the anti pee hormone, if you will. So essentially, it’s the anti p anti anti p hormone. So in other words, it makes you pee. It allows what’s in your body from a hydration standpoint to be released out. So that means you’re going to lose a lot of water. You’re going to lose a lot of minerals. So part of the mitigating effect of hangovers is Yeah, you have the seat. Allow the high but you’re also going to be low in minerals and low in hydration. So if you’re going to be drinking more having a Pellegrino or having a nice mineral water at your table or at your home and having a glass of mineral water in between each drink is going to be huge from a hydration standpoint and a mineral standpoint, that’s number one. Number two, you may do a binder during the drink to kind of help mitigate and bind up some of the the acid aldehyde to help bind that up. And then number two, you can add in some things that are can be protecting the liver whether it’s clear to thiam you can do NAC you can do some vitamin C, you can do some you can do some milk thistle. Those are all good options. Now I keep it very simple. I’ll do n acetylcysteine, vitamin C and activated charcoal. And then when I come home, I’ll typically do some liposomal lumify and once I get home, all right and then I’ll also really make sure the minerals are good. I’ll typically sip on something like a tub of cheese Go in between the keep my minerals up. That’s a kind of a really good way to look at it. So alcohol is a diuretic. 

Evan Brand: They need to sponsor you Topo Chico, you know, many times you flashed that Topo Chico bottle over the hundreds of episodes we’ve done they need to send you a free case or two or three.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, exactly. No, I totally I totally agree, man. I got to reach out to him for sure. 

Evan Brand: I found I found one paper wanted to tell you this real quick. So maybe this is a study that maybe it’s been done on humans, and I just didn’t find it in PubMed, but when I found quickly was the effect of activated charcoal on ethanol blood levels in dogs. And apparently, they gave the dogs different amounts of ethanol and then they measured their blood after a dosing of charcoal. And it of course, duh. It just said that blood ethanol concentrations were significantly inhibited by activated charcoal during the first hour after administration and then blood ethanol levels are significantly lower throughout the study in the activated charcoal group. So this is what they do supposedly, this is what they do in poisoning emergencies in the hospital. Like if you go into the hospital with alcohol poisoning, supposedly they pump your stomach full of charcoal. Is that still standard practice? I’m not sure if you- 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I can tell you personally not that I was ever affected but my college roommate freshman year, yeah, I had alcohol poisoning. I had to take him to the hospital. And we went to the ER. And I watched the whole process happening. They gave me a huge glass of activated charcoal. He was just drunk off his gorge. And he was just they had him sit him up at an angle and he was just out of it. And they were just kind of feeding him. The activated charcoal right down his mouth. 

Unknown Speaker: I witnessed it myself. And then they also had them hooked up to an IV which is good, right? Because then you get the minerals in. Right and then you get the activated charcoal. Now is that worth $1,000 ER bill don’t know, I mean, you’re probably getting a $1 if of activated charcoal and then maybe a $5 IV, right? It’s quite the markup on there. So in other words, folks, if you’re listening, get your $20 bottle of activated charcoal, bring five or six capsules with you take them throughout the night, and then just get your little mineral water, right little Topo Chico sponsor right there. And then sip that throughout the night. And then this is your IV, okay, and then you get your activated charcoal, that’s going to kind of be your little binder. And I have one study right here, I’ll just kind of read the conclusion. And again, it’s amazing how researchers just do not know how to write in a way that connects with the average person. Let me read it and then I’ll translate talks about it talks about right here. This is due to the contribution of hydrogen bonding to the dispersive interaction of hydrocarbon moiety with the act of carbon pore walls after oxidation for the carbons with unaltered decreased surface area The esoteric heat of the acid aldehyde absorption is decreased. Alright, right here. This is it basically activated charcoals, which are these hydrocarbons, bind up acid aldehyde and decrease its absorption. So there’s less acid aldehyde or acetyl aldehyde in your body to be absorbed, because it’s being bound up by the activated charcoal. 

Evan Brand: Let me point out what you’re saying. Because there’s people that are, you know, 17 minutes into this and they’re going yeah, but I don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol is stupid. It’s poison. I haven’t touched alcohol in years. I’m 20 years sober. Hey, he just said acetyl aldehyde. So if you have dealt with gut issues, and you’ve got a Candida overgrowth, that’s why we use binders for people. We’re not giving someone a binder and saying, oh, by the way, this is going to help with your Friday night drink. No, we’re using binders clinically, because it helps with the toxins that Candida and bacteria and parasites and all these gut infections that we talked about. That’s very beneficial for that, but it just so happens to be helpful with the alcohol piece too. So for those people like oh, Alcohol is the devil, which I joke around and say that many times. If I see my dad drinking, I’ll say, you know, I’ll call the devil right? And he’ll laugh. But anyway, for those people that don’t drink Look, the charcoal is still beneficial. Now, here’s one like side tangent, but I think it’s important to mention because it’s a sad reality is that up, women suppose you know, majority are going to go out to if they go out. I mean, whenever everything’s back to normal, they go out to a bar, and date raping still happens. I had a friend from high school who I saw at the gym years ago, and she apparently got dosed with gh B, you know, she was drinking water, and ended up getting date raped, and here she is not even drinking alcohol. I guess someone slipped ghp into her water and you know, next thing she knows that’s what happened. And so, the good news is there’s a study from European Journal of pharmacology, what’s it say here Pharmaceutical Sciences. Long story short, activated charcoal has clinically relevant ghp binding capacity. There you go. So if you have kids that are 2125 30, whatever they’re in college, you’re worried about them. Just make sure no matter what that if they go to a party or they go to a bar or whatever, that they take the charcoal because it’s going to help with the alcohol. But hey, if somebody tries to potentially date rape them, Look, now you’ve got that absorption as well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and I imagine that you’d also see glutathione as being a big one because fluidify on helps run those cytochrome p 450. oxidase pathway. Yeah, and right here ghp is naturally occurring compound and glutathione peroxidase, which is one of the major enzymes made by Luna found does help deactivate that. So yeah, these are all really good things. I mean, the goal of this podcast isn’t to tell people to drink it’s just the fact that hey, we know people are going to drink and there are people out there that still may drink and be very healthy, healthy minded. I like to consume a little bit of alcohol a couple glasses a week a lot of my patients do you know they want to have a social life not that you have to be drink alcohol to be social but they enjoy making that a part of their life and how can they do it in a way where they enjoy the the spirits and the the the levity that they get from their alcohol drinks, but at the same time, still maintain good health, cognitive benefit, good decisions, you know, and really still having a good social life without having the hangover and or having any negative health consequences. And so these are good strategies to do it. And we’ll talk about alcohol in a minute. But just to kind of reiterate, we had talked about the enzyme conversion glutathione is very important. We talked about the acid aldehyde is where a lot of the negative consequences happen. glutathione and activated charcoal can help with that as well. We talked about some of the liver tonifying herbs, such as milk thistle or silymarin. Things like dandelion or artichoke, things that support liver and gallbladder function can be helpful too. We talked about some of the nutrients like vitamin C and selenium, selenium is a glutathione precursor as well. And then we talked about the three amino acids and acetylcysteine is a core one and glutamine glycine, are really good amino acids. And Evan mentioned whey protein, which is really high in those amino acids as well can be really good supports to help with that alcohol, to acetyl aldehyde, acetyl aldehyde to acidic acid or apple cider vinegar, that’s the conversion process. And we’re just trying to help one either bind up some of that nonsense or help your body converted optimally. So you don’t deal with the deleterious consequences. 

Evan Brand: Let’s talk about the, you know, kind of the good, not so good, bad choices for alcohol. But first, I want to comment back on the Blue Zone thing you mentioned, because that’s interesting. You’re talking about the Blue Zones and how so many cultures around the world where you’re seeing a massive amount of centenarians, people that are living to 100 years or greater. These people, a lot of them do consume alcohol. I remember that story of that guy down in Austin. He passed away a few years ago, but it was that that African American guy, he lived like 113 or something, and he was like, he was like a world war two veteran, he was super famous. There’s a street named after him in Austin now, but this guy, don’t quote me, but I’m pretty sure this guy was drinking whiskey and smoking cigars every day. Wow. But here’s the funny thing about him and all these Blue Zones. Alcohol is just the lubricant for the social life. All these people in these Blue Zones, these are people who they have multiple generations of family living with them. They’re gardening, they’re there, they’re getting exercise, they’re getting sunshine, they’re barefoot in the dirt all day, they’re possibly eating food that’s not sprayed with chemicals. And they have much, much more of a social life than like your typical nine to five or so I think that when you look at those things, it’s hard to say, hey, the alcohol helped them live to 100 because they were relaxed. Part of its that too. Maybe they got a little bit relaxed, so they weren’t as stressed. And maybe they took let life less serious. Maybe they laughed a little more. But then also those people were super social with all their friends and family and data. So maybe that’s contributed to the longevity because we’ve seen all those papers on like social isolation being compared to smoking cigarettes and how toxic being isolated is so it’s kind of like the alcohol is there at the party, but the main benefit was the party in the people at the party.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% and I just kind of want to highlight here, because there are many people that are listening to this and they’re saying, you know, they may have a history of alcohol abuse or being an alcoholic. Of course, this isn’t for you. But one of the things I want to highlight of why alcohol can be a problem and some people, some people that really have chronic alcohol abuse, the B six vitamin is incredibly affected by alcohol. And B six is really important for synthesis of neurotransmitters in the brain, serotonin, dopamine, it’s very, very important and B six is important for methylation for detoxification for full A and B 12 absorption. So basics really One article right here it’s called vitamin B six metabolism in chronic alcohol abuse to talk about individuals with chronic alcohol abuse frequently exhibit lower plasma levels of pyridoxal five phosphate, that’s B six, because the liver is the primary source of this coenzyme in plasma. Basically, it talks about that liver. toxicity of ethanol can impair hepatic peroxyl five phosphate metabolism. Now this is a rat study, but they’ve seen the same thing in humans. And basics. He talked about ethanol is diminished in the in the rate of release of pyridoxal phosphate phosphate perfused by the livers. The effects of ethanol in vitro were abolished by four methyl piracetol, an inhibitor of alcohol dehydrogenase, so they found that the alcohol dehydrogenase drug actually increased B six, so something to do with that alcohol metabolism really do ranges that be sick. So what does that mean? What’s the Reader’s Digest version means maybe getting a little bit of extra benefit. Complex on board there couldn’t hurt either way so if you have a history of alcohol in your family maybe you don’t but you want to provide extra support for yourself taking a B complex while you consume alcohol could still be a good thing for you. People that are more at a preventative side not saying if you have it still avoided if you have alcohol issues, but if you want to be extra preventative be complex could be something that you may want to add in on top of that. 

Evan Brand: Cool. Yeah, I’m like a one shot a year guy historically, I remember I took like maybe two shots on my bachelor party for my for my wedding and then I we were out playing pool with my dad and my friends, my best man and all that and I just got to the point where I just felt stupid. I was like, God, even after this small amount of alcohol, I couldn’t comprehend simple things. And obviously, my brain likes to run. And so I was like, No, this is slowing me down too much. And so that’s that’s what kind of got me away from it. But But I may try it and see you know, I think there there are some Good, maybe stress reduction benefits. I’d like to see something on alcohol and cortisol. I wonder if there’s anything on that like seeing if salivary cortisol drops, like, let’s say you’re super stressed. I mean, think about like the TV show where you see the guy get pulled over by the cops. First thing he does is whips out a cigarette and starts smoking to take the edge off. I wonder if you took like salivary cortisol, you know, took a shot of vodka, took salivary cortisol. 30 minutes later, you think you’d see it drop? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think you’re gonna see, you’re gonna see a modulation of serotonin and dopamine, I know nicotine does stimulate dopamine. So you’re gonna see some kind of acute input, some type of acute synthesis of those compounds. Now it’s all about the dosage right? chronicity of it, you’ll actually deplete it more, right? It’s kind of like doing a stimulant, you’re going to get a little bit more dopamine. But if you do it chronically, well, now you’re going to deplete that dopamine and you’re going to need more stimulant to get the same result. But just to kind of highlight that last article. I wanted to read the last sentence that said, the data supports the previous findings that acetal aldehyde is the responsible agent for which acts by accelerating the degradation of intercellular b six. So what does that mean? The more acid aldehyde The more we decrease our B six. So the more we can help metabolize acid aldehyde or cetyl aldehyde with charcoal and glutathione and binders, then we’re going to degrade less B six and then if you really want to support and on top of that, you can do extra B six on top of that extra B vitamins and you’ll be good. Now I consume maybe if I go out I consume alcohol maybe only on a Friday or Saturday. That’s it. I do not do any alcohol during the week. It’s just kind of my personal thing. I like to have that at the end of the week, my hard week done, and I’ll typically do one to two glasses of high quality like a clean dry champagne. I like that I like the bubbles in it. For me bubbles are like my best friend to Chico lots of bubbles. There’s been some studies that the bubble and the carbonation and alcohol actually increases the ability eruption of alcohol into your bloodstream. So what does that mean? bubbles mean you have you need less alcohol to get that alcohol in your bloodstream. So I like that they’ve it’s actually studies on that. Imagine the college study where you sit down and you get one group that’s taking shots of vodka. The other group take shots of vodka with carbonated water and they test your blood alcohol content, yet they’ve done studies like that. I’ve seen them. And so you need less alcohol with the bubbles, which is kind of cool. And then you can do a lot of the strategies that we talked about afterwards. So that’s kind of my strategy. Maybe I’ll drink three. It was my kids birthday this weekend. So I had maybe three glasses of you know, I like a nice, nice champagne. Or I’ll do my Dr. J’s Moscow Mule, which is another great recipe. So we’ll do a high quality Tito’s vodka from Austin and get the potato vodka. It’s filtered as well really clean. I’ll do some Tito’s vodka and I’ll mix that in a nice ginger kombucha and I’ll do a half a wine squeezed and that’s a wonderful drink because you get B vitamins in the kombucha. You get a lot of antioxidants in the kombucha and then you have the the line which provides some extra vitamin C, which does can particularly the thigh own. So it kind of gives you a lot of nutrients that actually help with any acid aldehyde metabolism, which is cool.

Evan Brand: That’s very cool. Okay, so I want to talk real quick about neurotransmitters and bits and you kind of got into it and then we’ll go into maybe the good worse bad kind of choices. So I sent you a in the chat there, I put you a link to this big long paper about neurotransmitters and alcohol. And so we know this but it’s always good to see it in in paper form that both metabolites of serotonin which is they probably were measuring five aiaa, just like we see on the organic acids test, I’m guessing but it talks about here how in humans the levels of serotonin metabolites in the urine and the blood increase after a single drinking session indicating increased serotonin release in the nervous system. And so, you know, if you and I both love, Julia Ross, I’ll speak for you and talk talk about You love her because I love her. I’ve had her on the podcast several times. She’s done amazing work on amino acids. And you know, when she talks about serotonin being low, the deficiency symptoms of serotonin, this these are the things that drive people to drink in some cases. So these are like negativity, depression, worry, anxiety, low self esteem, and then you notice how those people who were kind of anxious and kind of closed in and introverted. Guess what, what happens when they drink, they become extroverted, they’re talking louder, they’re more bubbly, they’re, they’re more happy, they’re more, they’re less anxious, they’re less worried, and that’s because you get that quick boost of serotonin. Now, here’s the problem. And I haven’t read into the paper to confirm this. But I’ve read other papers on this and everybody knows this. If you’ve been in society, what happens at the end of the night when the guy goes home with the wrong girl or the girl goes home with the wrong guy at the end of the night? That’s because you have this temporary boost initially of serotonin and then guess what happens the serotonin crashes and when you have not Not enough serotonin, your decision making goes down, your prefrontal cortex just shuts down and you make bad decisions and you do things that you shouldn’t do. So you have this initial spike, because of the five htt receptors being hit by the alcohol, and then boom, rapidly declines after that. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think also alcohol just naturally decreases frontal cortex activation anyway. And so frontal cortex is the part of the brain right here, the neocortex that makes us human beings, it basically allows you it’s impulse control. So I don’t know you get in a fight with someone you’re like, oh, man, I really want to whack that person. But then your frontal cortex is like, Oh, no, don’t do that. That’s not good, right? You’ll go to jail. So your frontal cortex kind of like, Can like take a decision, that may be a bad one that you’re thinking impulsively, and it can shut that down. It also can, it can predict outcome of actions. And so when your frontal cortex is closed down, now you don’t have impulse control. So you just start saying whatever comes to your brain, and then you also don’t think about the consequences of your actions hence bad decisions. Yep. And then also in this paper it goes into how serotonin and not only just serotonin but GABA, you know alcohol is going to have an effect on gab as well. So, you know, people are familiar with GABA, it’s kind of the brakes of the brain, I call it and so when people are doing benzodiazepines, like Valium, and Xanax and those kind of things that’s working on the GABA receptors to calm anxiety. You and I prefer to use things like naturally fermented pharma gabbeh. We like to use things like elfy to help boost GABA, but you know, from a toxin perspective, the Gabba Gabba nergic pathway that’s also affected by alcohol too. So that would probably contribute to the relaxation a bit. Yeah, it’s interesting how the date rape drug which is gamma hydroxybutyrate ghp is actually a GABA metabolite. But it’s amazing that that can have the mind altering effects of memory loss. So obviously it must be a dose dependent type of thing. 

Evan Brand: It is Yeah, I was actually Looking at the GH B page, like a data page on it, it was talking about how at a low dose you get like a little bit of euphoria. But then when you go moderate high dose, yeah, you’re unconscious, you got no memory, it’s bad stuff.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s funny when my wife and I go out to eat, I have my little stomach case. And I have enzymes and HCl on one side, and then I have activated charcoal, NAC or vitamin C on the other. And so when we go out, it’s funny, I just pull it out. And I kind of just set up my little supplements as a as I’m going like trying to always hack things, right. And then I’ll do glutathione later at home, because number one, it tastes really bad. anyone that knows liposomal glutathione. I don’t want it to affect the taste of my meal. But then I do those amino acids while there and so that’s just kind of how I hack it. And I’m guessing too. One thing you could do on top of that is people that are trying to whip their serotonin or dopamine levels up, you can just use amino acids as well, to bump up your brain chemicals, right, so we’ll do tyrosine or l dopa. When appearing is to really help improve dopamine or adrenaline levels. And dopamine is a precursor to adrenaline. So part of the way we support healthy dopamine levels is we fix the underlying stressors that are causing your dopamine to go to adrenaline. And then of course, five HTP with B six and B six is very important because it helps with the conversion of your neurotransmitters. And we talked about the article showing a cetyl aldehyde decreases B six levels. So you can see the interplay here, so you can you know, if you’re smart, right, and you have issues to begin with, just avoid alcohol. But if you don’t, and you want to engage in it and have a couple of drinks per week, and you want to do it safe and effectively and hack it so you feel great doing it don’t have a deleterious effects, B six is one, okay. And then we can even do the amino acids five HTP and tyrosine with B six right, I talked about that. And then we have your binder, we have your glutathione precursor and then we have your minerals or your hydration which could just be a nice bottle of Pellegrino dropped off at the table with some limes and you can get some vitamin C in the lime juice and then you’re set. 

Evan Brand: Let me mention this. The people that have alcohol cravings, so you’re like hey, workweeks done great week let’s chill out a little bit that’s not you craving it that’s you just going to it because you’re enjoying it now the people that have to go to it the people like oh my god, I got to have a drink. Those people need more functional medicine help. So you know, Julia Ross talks about this a lot people that are having cravings for alcohol. You know, these are people that may need something like glutamine to help with the the brain to help the brain feel stable and calm. The people that are low in serotonin, they may crave alcohol as well. So like you said, that’s where the five HTP comes in. If someone’s burned out their catecholamines, they may have alcohol cravings, and some people it manifests as dark chocolate cravings, and some people it manifests as sweet cravings and some people it’s alcohol or it’s cannabis craving so you can have different vices tied into the same neurotransmitter. Same thing with Gabba. If you’re real low in GABA, you’re going to be someone who it’s hard for you to relax your real tightly wound. And you may crave sweets or starches, but you also may crave alcohol. So when you get the alcohol, oh my god, you loosen your shoulders a little bit, that’s a sign that you need help and the GABA department and then reach out to somebody like Dr. J. And let’s help you boost your natural levels and some of its genetics. Some people are just genetically going to be lower, they’re more anxious, maybe family history, childhood, whatever. And some people it’s the stress of toxicity and gut bugs or whatever else. It’s affected neurotransmitters like you and I see when people have gut infections, we’ll look at their serotonin and serotonin is often low. And my theory is that, hey, you’ve got a lot of gut bugs, you’re probably not able to manufacture enough serotonin in the gut, and therefore that’s why you’re anxious and depressed. And that’s why you have to have your alcohol to be happy or to do whatever you have to do but if you fix the gut, we retest the organic acid, boom, serotonin. goes back up to normal, which is really cool to see on paper.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Yep, totally. And again, alcohol isn’t there is some genetics to it. You’ll see it in a lot of people of Irish descent. Supposedly there’s some issues with with B vitamin or thymine deficiency, which is B one. And alcohol consumption actually further depletes that. So you see it in the Irish population. You also saw in the Native American population, a lot of alcoholism there. So thigh means a big role. That’s kind of why I was saying that. A good B complex would be one and B six can be very helpful as a preventative for people that may not be alcoholics but may have it in their family as a good preventative. Number two, if you are an alcoholic, you really want to look at supporting the adrenals you want to really look at supporting blood sugar, blood sugar is really important. You want to look at treating Candida because of the acid aldehyde in your gut from Candida can still mimic that. You want to look at supporting B vitamins and digestion and absorption. And one of the best things you can do when when you go out to eat is have Some protein and fat with your meal, it’s very helpful. One of the things I’ll do when I consume alcohol is I love oysters. And oysters are very high in zinc. And I’m pretty sure oysters are also very high in B vitamins too, I have to look at that real quick. Yet oysters are very high in B 12. And they’re also very high. And they do have some smaller amounts of timing nice and in full eight. And so that’s really good. So really, if you can go out and actually consume really nutrient dense foods, foie gras, liver, high quality grass fed steaks, you know, good seafood consumption, you’re going to have a lot of extra B vitamins there that will help fill in the gap nutritionally as well. 

Evan Brand: Yep. So let’s get into the good, worse, bad choice if you want to now. So you mentioned vodka already, which is good, because you mentioned it’s going to be distilled. It’s going to be ultra purified. So if you’re looking for just the pure stuff, it’s going to be that and then a golf a would probably be up at the top of the top of the list. Do you mean Yeah, tequila made from a GAVI. So- 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: One thing to add though the volca I’m a big fan of titos I’m pretty sure it’s potato bass and I think it’s also a filter like seven or eight times and isn’t it also isn’t also go to a charcoal filter.

Evan Brand: Supposedly that’s what we read. I haven’t confirmed it but yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so very clean. So if you want to consume that, and then I’ll do the Vodka with a high quality kombucha to really help improve the self improve the B vitamin nutrient levels too.

Evan Brand: Yep, so so tequila are coming from a GABE that’s gonna be generally really, really clean and then you get into the brown stuff. So you’re going to get into the whiskies. And then of course, you got bourbon which bourbon just means that it was made in Kentucky where I live Nice, huh? Same thing, whiskey and bourbon, same thing like Bourbons made in Kentucky and that’s what that’s what allows it to be called bourbon. So, but that’s but that’s made from grains. And generally grains are going to be genetically modified. They’re going to be sprayed with a lot of chemicals. So if you get a quote, really high grade High School Last whiskey bourbon, guess what, it’s not going to be certified organic and it’s not going to be, you know, GMO glyphosate free. So I would argue that the tequila and vodka choices would probably be far better. Now there’s also one. It’s like a Hawaiian company that makes an organic vodka. I’m gonna see if I can pull it up. It had like a blue bottle. It was like a, it’s called ocean. It’s organic vodka. And it was by a company called ocean. So and they make it from organic sugarcane. So that’s kind of cool. I like that it comes from an 80 acre farm and distillery in Maui and they use solar panels to power the distillery and blah, blah, blah. So it’s organic sugar cane, blended with deep ocean mineral water. So that’s kind of cool. So I think if you could get organic, and that would be smart. Now people that have allergies with corn. There’s another brand called frankly, who makes organic vodka but it’s made from organic corn. So when cause any issues if you had a corn allergy, I don’t know, maybe go for the sugar cane stuff instead.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Usually it’s filtered enough, it’s gonna have lot of its proteins. Proteins are a lot bigger so usually those are gonna get filtered out. Vodka’s gonna be the cleanest, there are antioxidants and some of those compounds. So you mentioned Gin, which is made of Juniper Berries which are very powerful antioxidants. Also things like Whiskey for instance, which is made from grains but typically the distillation process filtered it out, and it has different antioxidants in there, so it’s allagic acid which is a powerful antioxidant. And there are some decent compounds in there so your hard alcohols are gonna be good. Vodka’s my favorite because it mixes really well and you can get a high quality one that’s really clean. And we have like a nice dry apple cider, it’s really good, just try to get the one without sugar added. There’s a good brand in whole foods in Austin called Anthem, it’s a pretty good one. Another one is Magner which is pretty good too. Then of course you have your dry wines right so you have like a champagne which is basically a bubbly wine where the grapes come from one province in France right, but then you have like versions of prosecco which is a champagne version in Italy you have cava which is a champagne version in Spain and so I’ll tend to lean to some of the sparkling wines or really clean dry apple cider or really clean like my Dr. J’s Moscow Mule which i have a blog post on how to make and that’s the vodka, the ginger kombucha, half a lime squeeze and that’s phenomenal stuff.  And then of course you have the regular white wine, drier version you have the redder wines, which could have some other types of gluten in there because of the uh the granules of flour that may line some of the bottles, the like the big bins the big like barrels of of actual wine there could be some cross contamination there, and then you have like your flavored liqueurs, and then you have your beer, your lager, and then of course your not so good mix drink with lots of high sugar that’s kind of the spectrum.

Evan Brand: Yeah you notice like we barely even give any credit to the existence of those garbage ones like your Smirnoff  blue dye colored sugary corn syrup cane sugar mixture with alcohol, I mean the stuff like if you go out to like an american restaurant you get a margarita i mean it’s going to be a disgusting combination of artificial colors and dyes and sugar. It’s probably more sugar than there is alcohol in most of those things.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah I mean I can tell you, market demand though a lot more higher quality healthier alcohol drinks. I’m seeing a lot of sparkling water with a little bit of vodka, and some even just sweetened with a little bit of stevia, I think it’s like the white claw one and there’s another one out there, so there’s a couple of decent ones that are out there that are made from mass consumption. They kind of are dialed in with a little bit of vodka, a little sparkling, maybe even a tiny bit of Stevia and so not as bad. 

Evan Brand: Cool. I’ve heard of the white claw. I haven’t looked it up yet. I’m going to try to see what are the ingredients here. I’ve got an ingredient label here- black cherry-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: There’s another one it’s like fawn and something vaughn and forget. 

Evan Brand: So apparently, it’s carbonated water alcohol which I’m not sure what kind of alcohol it is. It just says it’s a gluten-free alcohol base natural flavor cane sugar citric acid. So yeah I mean I guess I would argue that’s not terrible. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You have to look at some some are low it’s another one bon and vive are one that i’ve seen before that just on the shelf that like pretty low sugar, like for me, i would probably just make my own with kombucha, because i feel like i can i can add more nutrients to it, and have that natural sweetness there.  But so just kind of giving you guys an idea of kind of how we think about it, Evan doesn’t drink at all i drink a tiny bit on the weekend, not during the week, so just kind of how we approach it. One, how do we choose the healthiest version possible. Two, how do we mitigate the side effects with some of the supplements that we recommend during. 

Evan Brand: I’m not opposed to it. I know I would go for it if it’s something clean i would probably go for it. I was just staying away because after my mold exposure you know i developed some histamine issues and when you look into alcohol and dao the enzyme that breaks down histamine the idea is that alcohol down regulates the dao enzyme and then it increases histamine because of that whole acetyl-aldehyde path that we talked about earlier. So people with histamine issues, uh people with gut issues those are probably people that should proceed with caution, but you know, once I feel like i’m on steady ground with the histamine thing i’ll probably try some. Let’s see what happens, maybe i’ll — but here’s here’s the funny thing. I’ve always been so social uh such an extrovert, so outgoing, that anytime i were at a party if i were driving friends around or whatever, i was always more social than the people there and like people would think i was buzzed or think i was drunk because of how social i was and so people have to drink to get on my level of sociability which has always been pretty funny. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No, I get that. That makes sense. So just kind of recapping for everyone right, choose the highest quality alcohol you possibly can based on that scale that we gave. Vodka, tequila, to whiskey, to gin, to your dryer kind of bubbly champagne, to your dryer red and white wines, to your beers lagers and kind of sugary drinks at the end. So choose kind of the best on that spectrum. Metabolism of alcohol right, ethyl alcohol, acid alcohol, two acetaldehyde acetaldehyde to acetic acid right so catalase enzyme here in that first step glutathione helps with that, and then from the uh acetaldehyde to acetic acid- that’s the alcohol dehydrogenase II, activated charcoal and different sulfur amino acids help decrease that as well. So use those. Be very mindful of alcohol, especially hard alcohol can actually decrease your blood sugar. So what happens is your liver does help with blood sugar stability, gluconeogenesis, when you lean up a whole bunch of ethyl alcohol against it, guess what happens? Your liver stops helping with blood sugar and so you when you take in alcohol. You can actually lower your blood sugar because there’s no sugar when you take in vodka for instance. So you’re actually decreasing your blood sugar, now what happens? When this happens it can create cravings, so when you go to a bar or restaurant they want to give you alcohol first a lot of times that’s going to decrease your blood sugar, because what your body can’t help maintain blood sugar stability. So the harder it is you have a lower blood sugar level. What does that do? More cravings, more appetite, more eating sugary and crappy carbohydrates and that can create a blood sugar roller coaster. So have good proteins good fats first before you eat so you can have better blood sugar control, and then use a lot of the supplementation that we talked about activated charcoal, vitamin c, milk thistle, nac, glutathione, and then make sure you hydrate in between to maintain your mineral levels.  

Evan Brand: Yeah. The restaurants know that if they can get you drinking you’re more likely to order that brownie with vanilla ice cream on top. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Bingo. 100%. So I always want to put myself in a position where my cravings are not driving the bus, so to speak. I’m able to make decisions based on what I want versus what my cravings want. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, exactly. Well, let’s wrap this thing up. If you want to reach out, you can check out Dr Justin at JustinHealth.com. He does consults worldwide- phone, facetime, skype, whatever we have to do to connect. That’s what you do. We send lab tests to your door, we help you with a wide range of health issues, you can view more on that website and if you want to reach out to me, Evan Brand that’s the website- EvanBrand.com. Same thing available worldwide. We’re blessed, we love being able to help people, we love being able to help hack things where people can still feel like a normal human. You know sometimes when you’re in this functional medicine health world, you feel like things are restricted. You’ve got these dietary restrictions, and now you can’t do this and now you can’t go eat the birthday cake and da da da da da so the good news is you can hack things like we’ve talked about today and you can still feel like a quote normal human. I really don’t want to feel like a normal human because most normal humans are super unhealthy and sick and overweight and whatever. So I’d rather feel the way we feel.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% agreed. I can’t believe this is one of our longest podcasts in a while, but I guess there’s a lot to talk about when it comes to uh alcohol consumption and how to do it the right way. So hopefully um the listeners enjoy the extra in depth and the biochemistry and some of the mechanism stuff and uh just you know walk away and apply a couple of components here to make your alcohol consumption healthier. If you feel the need to engage so far.

Evan Brand: Yep or share the content so sharing is caring. Please do and I would love if you’d write a review for us on iTunes because wherever you’re listening on your podcast app you should just be able to click write a review. So do it, I know we’re like we’re real people we’re not just like the annoying pop-up where the app’s like please rate me and you’re like maybe later or you’re like no thanks, don’t do that to us. Actually give it to us, we need it, we appreciate it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We appreciate it. We wanted to get uh in front of more people so they can take control of their health and that makes the world a better place so we appreciate that. Evan excellent chat today really appreciate it. We will be back next week you guys, have a phenomenal week. Take care y’all. Bye now.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

https://www.evanbrand.com/

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/hack-your-alcohol-consumption-and-avoid-hangovers-podcast-300

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