What is HG3?

HG-3 is a chewable dietary supplement that can be consumed with or without an alcoholic drink. It is comprised of a blend of natural herbal ingredients known to be bioactive in the brain and liver. Its unique properties in promoting brain health are distinct from its powerful anti-oxidant and enzyme inducing properties promoting liver health. Additional benefits may be achieved with daily use when used for its anti-oxidant properties. However, do not consume this product with medications without first consulting your physician.

Who is Dr. P?

Dr. P is a highly respected practicing physician and surgeon who also holds an advanced degree in the field of Immunology and Microbiology. His graduate school research experience provided him with the tools necessary to formulate his proprietary flagship herbal product, HG-3. He hopes you will use his newly formulated product and benefit from its uniquely blended ingredients.

Is HG-3 a cure for hangover caused by alcohol?

Dr. P extracted naturally produced phytochemicals from the Japanese Raisin Tree (Hovenia Dulcis Thunb) and the shrub (Ampelopsis Grossedentata) and blended them together in developing his proprietary product. Laboratory studies in the United States and abroad have demonstrated their unique value in providing both neuro-protection (brain) and hepato-protection (liver). Studies have not been done to assess its effectiveness for the treatment of liver ailments, alcohol poisoning or hangovers in humans. It is therefore not recommended for these uses.

Who should take HG-3?

HG-3 may be used by adult beverage consumers who are concerned about the potential damage alcohol can produce in their bodies, particularly in the brain and liver. Most consumers drink alcohol despite its known risks, and have done so for centuries. However, there is absolutely no way to make alcohol consumption safe and risk free.

Can elderly alcohol consumers take HG-3?

Yes! However, it is important to remember that as people age, the recommendation for the upper limit of “moderate or sustainable” alcohol consumption in men changes from 2 standard drinks per day (if less than age 65) to no more than one drink per day (after age 65). For women the recommendation is no more than one drink per day at any age. These recommendations stem from natural changes occurring in the body associated with aging. As men and women age, they have less body water and develop a lower metabolism for alcohol which makes the alcohol more concentrated in the body thus intensifying its effects.

Should teens who drink take HG-3?

20% of 12th grade students reported excessive alcohol consumption (binge drinking) in the 2 weeks prior to a major study examining alcohol use in the United States. Alcohol consumption in underage drinkers is considered a major societal problem for many reasons including its adverse effects on the developing adolescent brain. Alcohol is known to have detrimental effects on the immature prefrontal cortex (executive control brain region) which does not fully develop until at least age 25. Furthermore alcohol’s effect on this brain region contributes to impaired decision making in adolescents as well as adults. HG-3 is not recommended for use in underage drinkers because the use of alcohol in this population is strongly discouraged and HG-3 has not undergone testing for this purpose. Alcohol use in teens is not a rite of passage, it is dangerous and illegal.

Sensible Alcohol Consumption

Here is the deal. People all over the world enjoy drinking alcohol. For many, alcohol is viewed as a source of instant gratification related to “recognition of the moment”. One generally experiences feelings of relaxation and enhanced well-being when consumed in moderation. It is legal, readily accessible and socially acceptable. People use alcohol to relieve stress, decompress, and escape the rigors and routines of their daily work week. Alcohol is often available at sporting events, celebrations, work promotions and holiday festivities. Its availability may be regulated at these functions or it may be offered freely. However, at the end of the day, it is the personal responsibility of each individual to regulate his or her individual consumption of alcohol, have a designated driver and stay safe. Failure to do so can result in intoxication and the attendant consequences arising from impaired mental, emotional, and physical functioning. This can lead to behavior that not only can spoil a party, but also put oneself and others at risk of harm. It is not common knowledge that “moderate” or what is considered “low risk” drinking is “capped” at 3 standard drinks in one day for women and 4 for men. This amount of alcohol can raise the BAC to 0.08 mg/dl or higher if consumed in an hour. Also, one of the criteria for “heavy drinking” is considered to be more than 7 drinks in one week for women and 14 drinks for men. And binge drinking is considered to be 4 or more drinks in a 2 hour period for women and 5 for men. Excess consumption puts oneself and others at risk for safety and health issues. Sensible drinking is an effective means of limiting the negative effects of alcohol consumption. For more information on sensible drinking we highly recommend visiting the NIAAA.NIH.gov web site.

Drinking is a big deal. If one is going to drink, it needs to be done safely. If a person has had a problem with alcohol use in the past, a family history of alcohol or drug dependency, is underage, taking medication, pregnant, planning to become pregnant, planning to drive, or has medical problems etc., one should not drink.

Can alcohol really cause brain damage?

Yes! It is a well-established scientific fact that excess alcohol exposure may directly damage critical regions in the brain at any age.

When am I most at risk? When I drink or is it many years later?

It depends on the genetic makeup of the individual, family history of substance use, and the pattern of alcohol consumption. Other considerations regarding risk include how much alcohol is consumed, how often, how long, and under what circumstances. Certain risks occur at the time of drinking and others occur more gradually over time. Acute and chronic alcohol toxicity has the potential to produce temporary impairment or long-term damage.

Is a woman at greater risk of medical consequences from alcohol use than a man?

Yes! If a man and woman weigh the same number of pounds and drink the same amount of alcohol, the blood alcohol level for the woman can be up to 25% higher than for a man. This is related to the woman having less body water than a man, hormonal differences, and fewer enzymes by which to break down the alcohol. Since women are oftentimes of lesser body weight than a man, alcohol concentrations can be even higher. As such, the alcohol levels in a woman reach higher levels faster, are reduced more slowly, and remain in the body longer giving rise to earlier onset and greater severity of medical consequences on average than seen for a man. However, men may also develop problems related to alcohol at any age. Also, more men than women drink alcohol-and when they drink, may drink more alcohol adding to their risk.

How much alcohol does a person have to drink to be at risk for medical consequences?

Much less than people think. A woman is considered to have increased risk for medical consequences if her consumption is greater than one standard drink per day. For a man, it would be greater than two standard drinks daily if age 65 or younger (and only one drink daily if older than 65). Drinking less than these amounts may cause harm, but also may have health benefits. Drinking greater than these amounts is when medical consequences become more common.

What do you mean by a standard drink?

A standard drink is a 5 ounce glass of wine (12% alcohol), 12 ounce beer (5% alcohol) or 1 ½ ounces (shot) of liquor (40% alcohol).

Are there ways to reduce the medical risks associated with alcohol?

Yes! It is relatively easy to calculate the number of standard drinks consumed and stay within moderate or “sustainable” drinking guidelines. Not drinking is also an option, and may be the best option.

Does basic animal science research show where alcohol has its damaging effects in the brain?

Yes! A key neurotransmitter target in the brain has recently been identified. The evidence strongly suggested alcohol attached to this receptor and exerted a major influence on its functioning. When alcohol was administered in intoxicating doses, damage to this receptor occurred.

Is the damage permanent?

The researchers suggested this damage led to permanent changes in brain receptor functioning when intoxication occurred repeatedly. However, even with single episode intoxication it took up to 2 weeks before receptor function returned to normal.

What brain neurotransmitter normally acts at this receptor site?

GABA (shorthand for Gamma Amino Butyric Acid) is the brain neurotransmitter that acts at this receptor site. The receptor itself is called the GABA A Receptor. For simplicity it will be referred to as the GABA Receptor.

What roles do the GABA neurotransmitter and the GABA Receptor have in the brain?

The GABA Receptor is responsible for propagating GABA’s chemical message to the receiving neuron. Together, GABA and the GABA Receptors comprise a crucial and widespread neuronal system that regulates communication between critical regions in the brain. This system provides a regulatory and counterbalancing influence, including the prevention of over-excitation of important brain regions.

What does alcohol do to the brain’s GABA Receptors?

Cutting edge animal research has demonstrated that alcohol targets the GABA Receptor causing a disruption in its functioning. This immediate effect of alcohol is likely responsible for most of the familiar effects of excessive alcohol exposure on thinking, judgment, and behavior. In the short run, this disruption leads to a temporary under-functioning of the GABA Receptor system requiring up to 2 weeks for the system to fully repair itself. Repeated episodes of over-exposure to alcohol may result in long-term changes having the potential to become permanent as seen in animal models. Injury to the GABA Receptor is one prominent mechanism underlying alcohol’s damaging effects on the brain-but it is not the only mechanism. The consequences resulting from damage to the GABA Receptor are considerable and may be associated with enhanced sensitivity to stress resulting in anxiety or nervousness-and irritability.

These studies provided the backbone of evidence leading to Dr. P’s decision to develop his revolutionary new product, HG-3.

How does HG-3 work to protect the GABA Receptor from the harmful effects of alcohol?

HG-3 provides a shield or barrier between alcohol and its access to the binding site on the GABA Receptor. This allows alcohol to exert a limited effect at the GABA Receptor without blocking its actions entirely. This is much like applying sunscreen to shield the body from the harmful effects of the sun but still allowing for the enjoyment of being at the beach. HG-3 shields the GABA Receptor from the harmful effects of alcohol allowing for safer consumption while still enjoying its pleasurable effects. HG-3 has not been studied on other targets of alcohol in the brain or body.

Does HG-3 do anything else?

HG-3 contains flavonoids derived from concentrated extracts of the fruit from Hovenia Dulcis Thumb. These flavonoids are powerful anti-oxidants demonstrated to protect the liver under various conditions of toxin exposure in animal studies.

Are there any other benefits of HG-3?

HG-3 accelerates the metabolism (breakdown) of alcohol resulting in less time for the liver, brain and other bodily organs to be exposed to alcohol’s toxic effects. However, it is not only alcohol that has harmful effects on these body systems, but also its most dangerous metabolic byproduct, acetaldehyde. The breakdown of acetaldehyde to a less toxic chemical is also accelerated by HG-3. Since over 90% of alcohol is degraded in the liver the benefits of this detoxification process are substantial.

What do you mean by excessive alcohol exposure?

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) considers alcohol intoxication to be a form of alcohol poisoning. This is not unreasonable given the dramatic alterations in brain and bodily functions when alcohol is consumed in excess. In addition, the emergence of a “hangover” is considered by the FDA to be an extension of an alcohol poisoning. This is also not unreasonable given that brain waves can be abnormal for up to 16 hours after alcohol levels are undetectable.

What do you mean by impairment?

Impairment does not imply one has been slamming down shots of tequila. It does refer to the ingestion and subsequent accumulation of alcohol in the blood, sometimes at low levels, resulting in changes in thinking and behavior that are atypical for a person compared to when they are not drinking. These changes may include the appearance of slurred speech, impaired coordination, unsteady walking, unsteady gaze, impaired attention or memory or becoming stuperous or comatose.

What is meant by tolerance?

For those who have significant “tolerance” (i.e. high tolerance) to alcohol’s mental and behavioral effects, there may be few noticeable changes in behavior even at higher blood levels of alcohol. The converse is true when a person has “low tolerance”. Tolerance may occur as a result of genetic differences among people (e.g. liver enzyme activity) or the repeated ingestion of increasing amounts of alcohol over time. Higher alcohol levels should always be avoided-even if a person doesn’t feel alcohol is producing the effects they desire. Tolerance is not something that should be sought. It refers to an adaptation the persons’ body has made to alcohol. It can be a serious problem for people because they “feel” like they are able to work or drive, but their alcohol levels are markedly elevated. This puts themselves and others at greater risk of harm.

Is it okay to drive if your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is less than 0.08, the current legal limit?

Alcohol and driving is a major issue not only in this country, but worldwide. There is no amount of alcohol that has been determined to be safe when driving. Delayed reaction times are demonstrable at much lower levels than BAC (blood alcohol concentration) 0.08 mg/dl. States have adopted a BAC level of 0.08 mg/dl on the Breathalyzer test for “illegal limit” for driving. This level is one of the highest legal limits in the world as most countries have adopted levels in the range of BAC 0.05 or less. The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) has recommended the BAC be lowered to 0.05 in the United States. Even this is not saying lower levels are “safe” for driving or that “Driving under the Influence” does not occur for other reasons, including erratic driving, failing a field sobriety test or being impaired by another substance. Hangover, even when alcohol levels have returned to zero, is associated with impairment of driving skills and risk of injury.

Why do I feel like I don’t know how much alcohol I am actually drinking?

Alcohol consumption is poorly understood by the average consumer. It is important to recognize “a beer is not just a beer”. One beer can have 5% alcohol content in 12 ounces and another can have 9% or higher. Similar considerations apply when consuming wine or liquor. It is difficult to stay within standard drinking guidelines without knowing the % alcohol content or the size of beverage being served. For more information on “Standard Drink”, and “Moderate Drinking Guidelines”, please consult the NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) website, www.niaaa.nih.gov. This knowledge is very important and should be utilized anytime a person decides to drink alcohol.

Is excessive consumption of alcohol and binge drinking really that much of a problem?

In a 2012 study reported in JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association), 32% of the respondents binge drank and 7% engaged in heavy drinking over the previous 30 days. In 2006, a large research study reported the societal cost of excess alcohol consumption was $223.5 billion in a year. This cost was estimated to be $746 for every man, woman and child in the United States. 76% of this cost was associated with binge drinking. $161 billion of the total cost resulted from losses in workplace productivity including tardiness, absenteeism and poor work performance generally attributed to hangover. Hangover has long been implicated in disruption of “next day work responsibilities” and low productivity. Working is difficult when experiencing headache, diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, and problems with concentration?

How does excessive alcohol consumption break down by age groups?

87.6% of people ages 18 or older reported they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime. 71% of respondents reported drinking in the past year and 56.3% in the past month. 35-40% of 18 to 22 year olds engaged in binge drinking in the month prior to the study survey. It was found that although the 18 to 34 year old age group has the greater number of binge drinkers, the 65+ years age group were found to binge drink more often. It is clear from this information and the results of prohibition era protests that people are determined to drink, and oftentimes drink to excess with unfortunate results.

What are some of the medical consequences associated with alcohol?

Alcohol (Ethanol) is the type of alcohol that is consumed by humans as “beverage” alcohol. It is also combined with gasoline and used as a fuel in race cars (E 85) and passenger vehicles (E 10). It is highly flammable in concentrations commonly found in liquor or distilled spirits. It should come as no surprise to learn that alcohol has adverse effects in the human body.
In the body, alcohol exerts many of its harmful effects by causing direct inflammation in tissues and organs as it comes into contact with them. In higher doses, it becomes toxic causing damage that is sometimes irreversible. Alcohol is metabolized at a rate of less than one standard drink in an hour. Consumption occurring more rapidly than this will result in accumulation of alcohol in the body as reflected by rising blood alcohol levels (reflected by the blood alcohol concentration-BAC). The alcohol breakdown product, acetaldehyde, is very toxic to the body tissues and is considered to be a major contributor to the residual symptoms associated with intoxication known as “hangover”.

To understand how alcohol can affect so many different organ systems it is helpful to understand that once ingested, alcohol is absorbed from the digestive system and enters the blood. The majority of it enters the liver. In the liver, more than 90% of alcohol is degraded to acetaldehyde and eventually to acetate. Acetaldehyde is a toxic product which, along with any alcohol that escapes metabolism, leaves the liver and enters the bloodstream. This blood goes directly to the heart. Once in the heart, alcohol and acetaldehyde are circulated in the bloodstream to each and every organ system, including brain and liver.
As seen in the abbreviated listing of known ailments associated with different body regions, alcohol has a far reaching effect well beyond its more familiar actions on brain and liver dysfunction.

Excessive use of alcohol is a known cause of inflammation of the esophagus and of the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. When inflamed, it may result in a feeling of pain or heartburn. When this progresses to a disease state it is known as gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Inflammation may also occur in the stomach (gastritis) and small intestine (duodenitis). Organs assisting in digestion may become inflamed as well. Alcohol has been associated with inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and liver (alcoholic hepatitis). When organs in the digestive system become inflamed, there may be poor absorption of nutrients (malnutrition), vitamins (especially B1, B2, B6, niacin, folate and vitamin D) and minerals (Calcium, magnesium and zinc). With diarrhea, there can be a substantial loss of body fluids leading to dehydration. Alcohol is associated with “fatty liver disease”, an inflammatory condition associated with triglyceride accumulation in the liver. Fatty liver may be a precursor to liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. The brain is especially sensitive to alcohol including the prefrontal cortex (executive functions) and cerebellum (balance and coordination). The risk for stroke is increased along with brain damage that can lead to dementia. Alcohol has a direct toxic effect on the bone marrow which harbors the cells necessary to maintain our immune system. Damage to this region is associated with decreased numbers and effectiveness of immune fighting cells that impairs the ability of the body to fight infections. Red blood cells may also be reduced by this same mechanism resulting in anemia. Anemia can be worsened by a slow loss of blood from an inflamed digestive tract. Alcohol may cause heart rhythm abnormalities, elevated blood pressure and seizures. Alcohol can affect kidney functioning, disrupt sleep, cause harm to a fetus, and is associated with numerous cancers. Fatal and nonfatal intentional and accidental injury associated with excessive consumption is common. Some mental health conditions may be caused or exacerbated by alcohol.

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