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Distilled Down

Dihydromyricetin (DHM)

Dihydromyricetin (DHM): The reason why you feel so great after taking Cheers.

Dalia Steichen

KEY TAKEAWAYS

The power of DHM.

One of the biggest questions we get from customers is “why now?” People have been drinking alcohol since the beginning of humanity, how is there now this “magical” product that can make me feel better? 

It’s all thanks to our hero ingredient, dihydromyricetin (DHM). DHM is an extract (like caffeine is to coffee) derived from natural sources such as the Japanese raisin tree. It’s been used for centuries as an herbal liver supplement and hangover remedy in traditional Eastern medicine. Its original usage dates back to the year 659 when it was published in the world’s first official pharmacopeia.

However, it wasn’t until 2012 when researchers found that DHM actually has real science behind it in its relation to alcohol. They performed a study that involved getting rats drunk, and then measured their symptoms after administering DHM.

Long story short, researchers found that when given DHM, rats showed significantly reduced signs of hangovers. The DHM affected their GABAa receptors, the same receptors that alcohol binds to in your brain. Since the groundbreaking research introducing DHM to the academic community in 2012, there has been an increasing number of scientific studies showcasing DHM’s efficacy in reducing GABAa rebound, as well as its benefits to the liver.

Fast forward to October 2013

Our founder and CEO, Brooks Powell, read about this study in the Journal of Neuroscience while studying at Princeton. He then began working with his neuroscience professors to conduct a human study testing DHM’s efficacy. What they found was astonishing. Conducted for our granted patent, our study found that users of Cheers felt an average of 50%+ better the next day across 8 typical symptoms.

Efficacy is Key

Because of these findings, we’re committed to prioritizing the highest level of efficacy in our products, including Industry-leading levels of DHM (1,200 mg per dose of our capsules) as well as pioneering DHM bioavailability enhancing technology.

Fun fact: Cheers was the first company to bring DHM to the United States at scale. Since then dozens of copycats have entered the market, potentially cutting corners to reduce COGS and compete on price alone.

I thought dehydration is why we don't feel well the next day! 

While most people tend to think that dehydration is the cause of hangovers (and it is important to hydrate while consuming alcohol!) dehydration does not cause sensitivity to light and sound, anxiety, severe nausea, or other symptoms typically associated with hangovers. If you hydrate effectively before, during, and after alcohol consumption then you can reduce the effects of dehydration, but you’re not going to reduce the primary causes of why you feel poorly the next day. 

If we were to rank the causes of a hangover based on how much worse they make you feel the next day, we would argue that the primary causes in order are:

  1. GABAa rebound
  2. Acetaldehyde exposure
  3. Dehydration

Collectively, all of these causes give you the finished product of feeling terrible the day after consuming alcohol, and DHM has been shown to directly affect GABAa rebound and acetaldehyde exposure.

How the DHM in Cheers works to reduce GABAa Rebound

To put this concept into context, think about the “hair of the dog.”

It’s a drink popularized by people who wake up trying to “cure” their pain. If dehydration was the sole cause of hangovers, the “hair of the dog” would never work. Since alcohol causes dehydration, and a Bloody Mary is alcohol, it would make no sense for a Bloody Mary to do anything but make hangovers worse. To better understand this conundrum, we have to understand the effects alcohol has on your body.

When you first drink alcohol and it enters your bloodstream, it eventually reaches your brain and its GABAa receptors. This is what triggers alcohol’s positive effects (i.e. relaxed, brave – aka “liquid courage”, friendlier).

But, when you’re done drinking and alcohol leaves your system, your GABAa receptors go into rebound, i.e, withdrawal, causing adverse effects. This is when lights become too bright, sounds become too loud; you may get a splitting headache, and you may become nauseous and get sweaty palms.

Drinking more alcohol the next morning temporarily reduces the alcohol withdrawal that you are experiencing from the day before. While effective for a moment, the strategy fails once the alcohol starts wearing off. Then it becomes a slippery slope—either keep drinking to keep the hangover at bay or bite the bullet and deal with it. The longer you put off dealing with it, the greater the balance is going to be and the more it’s going to hurt.

And that’s where DHM comes into play: 

Rather than reintroducing alcohol into your system, Cheers is more effective and neutralizes effects that simulate the “hair of the dog.” DHM binds to the same receptors as alcohol binds to (the GABAa receptor), and thereby reduces GABAa rebound, and ultimately those next-day effects. 

How the DHM in Cheers works to reduce acetaldehyde exposure

To clear alcohol from your bloodstream, your body must first convert alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is roughly 20x more toxic than alcohol itself. Then, enzymes called acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) turn acetaldehyde into acetate, which is harmless. After acetaldehyde becomes acetate, it passes harmlessly out of your body.

Unfortunately, the liver can only turn acetaldehyde into acetate so fast; your body can process up to 1 drink’s worth of acetaldehyde per hour, on average. (for example, if you’ve had 3 drinks in one night, you’re going to have acetaldehyde in your body for about 3 hours). While your liver is processing some of the acetaldehyde in your body, all the acetaldehyde the liver isn’t actively working on enters the bloodstream and flows throughout your entire body.

The DHM in Restore reduces the amount and time you’re exposed to acetaldehyde following alcohol consumption, by helping your liver increase your acetaldehyde metabolism.

DHM links for further reading

The study that Brooks read in the Journal of Neuroscience while studying at Princeton. Without this study, we wouldn’t be where we are today! 

More recently, USC’s School of Pharmacy conducted a study into DHM’s effects on overall liver health. 

This is the human study we conducted as part of our Granted Patent

We wrote this article that breaks down what DHM is, why the 2012 study was so significant, and what exactly causes hangovers

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.

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