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Distilled Down

Bioavailability

How we unlocked DHM's potential through increasing its bioavailability.

Dalia Steichen

April 4, 2022

KEY TAKEAWAYS

We started Cheers in 2014 due to the groundbreaking discovery of Dihydromyricetin's (DHM) alcohol-related properties in academic literature. We saw the potential in DHM's ability to change how people enjoy alcohol, and, as a result, we were the first company to bring DHM to market at scale in the United States. Since then, countless competitors have also recognized DHM's potential and flooded the market (more often with less DHM, proprietary blends, and other ways to cut corners & costs). 

While pure DHM helps on its own, we knew from the start that poor oral bioavailability limits its efficacy. Anyone can come out with a product containing DHM, but whoever figures out how to increase DHM's bioavailability will gain a long-term competitive advantage in the growing category of alcohol-related health. 

Increasing bioavailability is what we set out to do from day one — and we knew it would be a long road to get there. Nearly a decade after reading the groundbreaking DHM study, millions of dollars in funding, and recruiting some of the most prominent institutions and people in bioavailability science, we're proud to announce that we have finally figured it out. 

But first: what is bioavailability? 

Bioavailability is a crucial indicator of absorption. It refers to the proportion of a substance absorbed into systemic circulation. In the case of DHM, we're looking at how much is absorbed into the bloodstream.

When you consume DHM by mouth—such as through capsules or beverages—very little is absorbed into the bloodstream where it can be used. DHM has about a 5% bioavailability, meaning for every 1,000 mg of DHM consumed, only around 50 mg enters the bloodstream. This is why our Restore capsules contain industry-leading amounts of DHM per dose (1,200 mg, to be exact!). 



DHM is widely considered a BCS Class IV compound in academic literature. This means that DHM's bioavailability is limited by poor solubility (a substance's ability to dissolve into a solvent) and poor permeability (a substance's ability to transport across the gastrointestinal membrane through the cells and into the entire body).



Cheers' R&D efforts to unlock DHM's bioavailability. 

The alleged solubility problem of DHM is a relatively easy problem to overcome. Our DHM research found many ways to increase its solubility. However, as we moved from promising in-vitro studies of solubility-enhancing formulations of DHM to more complex in-vivo studies, we found that increasing the solubility of DHM did not have a significant impact on the overall bioavailability.

Instead, we discovered a major breakthrough in DHM bioavailability only when we increased its permeability.


With DHM, we tried nanoparticle formulationshot-melt extrusionsspray-dried dispersionsnanoemulsions. We even looked into more bioavailability enhancing strategies that were found to have little-to-no probability of being successful. It wasn't until we tried combining DHM with a commercially viable natural permeabilizer, capric acid, that we cracked the code. 


Capric acid increases DHM's bioavailability by binding to cellular tight junctions in the GI tract and temporarily allowing larger molecules, such as DHM, to absorb at a significantly increased rate. Our in-vivo studies revealed that by co-administering capric acid with DHM at a ratio of at least 2:1, DHM bioavailability increased by up to 19x—allowing significantly more DHM to absorb into your bloodstream.



"From a scientific perspective the results are most impressive. These are some of the best results I have seen on permeabilizers enhancing delivery." – Bob Prud'homme, one of Cheers' science advisors and R&D leads on this study. 
Professor Robert Prud'homme | Source: Princeton Magazine


Shortly after the discovery, we filed a patent application called "Formulations of Dihydromyricetin and a Permeabilizer"—which today is the patent application behind our ADAPT™ technology (Accelerated DHM Absorption Permeabilizer Technology). 

Because this technology was the result of a sponosred research agreement (SRA), our founder and CEO Brooks Powell was a contributor to the claims of the invention. Cheers, therefore, is a co-inventor on the patent with an Ivy League university. 

Cheers has negotiated an exclusive license from the Office of Technology & Licensing (OTL) department of this Ivy League university for exclusive rights to the technology. (Note: The licensing agreement prevents us from using the university's name in advertising—a clause in all of their agreements, not just ours. If you're curious, it's not hard to figure out which one with a little googling.)

What we're doing with this technology

Not only have we created a groundbreaking discovery and technology, but we have built significant protections around it and have further secured the exclusive rights to use it. Bringing this to the world is just one of the many ways that Cheers leads the category of alcohol-related health.After spending over a year implementing our ADAPT™ technology in new products, we finally released our Restore beverage in May 2021, utilizing our bioavailability enhancer. While the beverage currently isn't available online, it's available in a growing number of retailers. Check our Find Cheers page to see where you can get it in retail!


Right now, our ADAPT™ technology is only in this beverage. But rest assured, we're currently doing the R&D to put this technology into our capsule form of Restore. We're proud to say that this will be the most convenient and cost-effective solution for getting the most bioavailable DHM product possible. In terms of DHM delivered per dose at a reasonable price point, no one else comes close—that's the magic of our recent major R&D breakthrough.

References

About Cheers

Cheers is the leading alcohol-related health brand focused on developing products that support your liver and help you feel great the next day. As a student at Princeton, Cheers’ founder Brooks Powell discovered the potential advantage of incorporating the natural plant extract Dihydromyricetin (DHM) into an after-alcohol consumption regimen and began working with his professors to make products that addressed the unique challenges of alcohol-related health. . Since its official launch in 2017, Cheers has sold more than 13 million doses  to over 300 thousand customers. The research-backed line of products includes three versions of supplemental pills and powders – Restore, Hydrate and Protect. Cheers is now releasing read-to-drink versions of their products—starting with Cheers Restore. Each product is equipped to meet different health needs such as rehydration, liver support, and acetaldehyde exposure. Cheers places an equal emphasis on the responsibility and health aspects of its mission and vision. The brand’s mission is bringing people together by promoting fun, responsible, and health-conscious alcohol consumption. The vision is a world where everyone can enjoy alcohol throughout a long, healthy, and happy lifetime. For more information, visit cheershealth.com or join the social conversation at @cheershealth.