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Researchers created an edible gel that stops alcohol from making you drunk

Published May 15th, 2024 3:55PM EDT
men drinking beer
Image: Syda Productions / Adobe

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What if you could go out on the town with your friends, enjoy a few beers, and still not get drunk? It might sound too good to be true, but a new anti-drunk gel could actually make it possible. The gel was created by researchers at ETH Zurich, and some successful trials have already been done on mice.

The researchers say the gel can reduce blood alcohol levels by up to 50 percent and help protect the body from damage. While clinical trials still remain, the researchers are confident in what they’ve created and have even applied for a patent for the gel.

This new anti-drunk gel is made of some very interesting ingredients, too. Very simple ingredients, at that. The main ingredients, the researchers revealed, are iron, gold, and whey. Ordinary whey proteins helped produce the gel, and these were boiled for several hours to form long, thin fibrils. These fibrils are then added to a salt and water solvent to create the gel itself.

beerImage source: BRAD/Adobe

The researchers explain that the gel’s big advantage compared to other delivery systems is that it can be digested slowly, allowing it to work for longer. However, to truly break down the alcohol, the gel needs several catalysts.

These catalysts include individual iron atoms as the main catalyst. When immersed in an iron bath, the anti-drunk gel began to react effectively with the alcohol, converting it into acetic acid and thus keeping the body from actually absorbing most of the harmful substance.

No timeline for clinical trials has been shared just yet, but the researchers did publish their findings on the new gel in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. We’ve previously seen hangover pills released on the market. But a gel that actually stops your body from absorbing the alcohol altogether would be helpful for those who want to enjoy the controversial benefits of a few beers without any of the brain-damaging effects.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.