David Nutt, a neuro-scientist from Great Britain, is introducing alcosynth, a synthetic beverage which he says is 100 times safer than alcohol. His product promises to give users the experience of drinking beer without having to suffer the negative effects the morning after. Alcosynth is currently undergoing testing for public consumption, and its long-term effects are not yet known.
Because alcosynth is free from a compound called acetaldehyde, Nutt explains that it will not produce a hangover after a night of drinking. Acetaldehyde is a toxin produced by the body while drinking that causes hangovers and that can accumulate in the body faster than it can be gotten rid of. The unpleasant side effects of nausea, headache, and dry mouth can be then exacerbated by dehydration.
Alcosynth has a calming on the body in a similar way to alcohol without hurting organs like the liver and kidneys. David Nutt has expressed caution over interfering overly much with the neurotransmitter GABA that is responsible for lowering anxiety in people. He states that products like his affect the system which is responsible for pleasure, and that when taken in excess, it can have unintended consequences. Moderation, even with synthetic beer, is key.
Nutt is also concerned with reducing the problems related to alcohol abuse, such as missed work and lowered job performance. Cited as a concern, is also the fact that users will often drink again in order to alleviate the symptoms of a hangover. Alcosynth has been found to be virtually calorie-free, however it is not yet known whether it is habit-forming or if a person can overdose. More testing is needed.