The Pest Control Blog North America

Beer Drinking Rats Support Science

Two Rats CelebratingRats are commonly known as the subject of numerous scientific experiments that promote the advancement of medical science. After all, before human studies for new drugs can begin and later be approved, rodents enable us to study the effects, the shortcomings and or the dangers of new drugs.

Luckily for homo sapiens, having fun Friday or Saturday night may one day mean not having to pay the price the day after. But what about the dreaded hangover and other effects of overindulging? More good news from the scientific community with regards to alcohol consumption.

The January 4th Journal of Neuroscience reports that researchers dosed rats with an ancient herbal remedy called dihydromyricetin, or DHM, from an extract of the seed of the Asian tree, Hovenia dulcis. Records touting the herbal remedy as an effective means of reversing or eliminating alcohols effects date back to the year 659.

Getting rid of rats in your home or business, while still one of the topics you will commonly find here, you would be hard pressed to find a more intriguing news story than one about rats drinking beer.  A lot of beer. It really just begs the question, “how much beer can a rat drink?” By the way, I’m not embarrassed to admit these rats could easily drink me under the table. The rats in this study performed by the University of California Los Angeles, drank the human equivalent of 15 to 20 beers in under two hours. Yeah. And they weren’t even playing a drinking game with friends. I’m curious if they will be testing with wine anytime soon…

During the study the rats were separated into two groups. Those getting lots of beer and no DHM dosage, and those getting lots of beer that was dosed with DHM. The rats who enjoyed several “cold ones” without DHM passed out and could not get their bearings for an hour and were unable to flip-over off their backs.

The rats that had alcohol dosed with DHM fared better, but still showed signs of inebriation. Dosed rats recovered more quickly (although they still struggled to flip off their backs), regained their composure in 15 minutes and also showed no signs of alcohol addiction after several weeks of imbibing. The DHM dosage also notably eased rat hangover symptoms including seizures and anxiety. A researcher at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City found that rats drinking the untreated beer gradually consumed more beer. However, and this is the studies clear cut winner, the rats drinking beer dosed with the herbal remedy showed reduced consumption further supporting the researchers theory that DHM might also prevent alcohol addiction.

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