Kudzu: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dose & Precautions

Additionally, kudzu may help reduce inflammation, which is often a contributing factor to the development of type 2 diabetes. This is because isoflavones can help dilate blood vessels, allowing for better blood flow. Kudzu may also help reduce the risk of blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

The fact that kudzu extract nearly doubled the number of consecutive days that individuals maintained abstinence suggests that it may be a useful adjunct during the early weeks of treatment. The present study was conducted in non treatment-seeking heavy drinkers to assess the safety and efficacy of four weeks of kudzu extract in an outpatient setting. Kudzu root gets some serious rep’ for helping folks ease off of the booze. One small study looking at the effects of kudzu in a group of men that reported drinking between 22 and 35 drinks per week shows promising results.

Kudzu: the supplement said to curb drinking by reducing cravings for alcohol

These issues highlight the difficulties of evaluating the efficacy of dietary supplements. While randomized clinical trials are the best method for studying efficacy, such trials often fail because of methodological weaknesses (Linde, 2000). Interestingly, the wild type of P. lobata contains much higher isoflavonoids (up to 12%) than cultivated and eatable species (1%-3%) (P. thomsonii Benth.). Although kudzu is used in traditional medicine, the evidence on whether it has benefit for any condition is unclear. Kudzu is an herb used in Chinese medicine to treat alcoholism, heart disease, menopausal symptoms, diabetes, fever, the common cold, and neck or eye pain. Lab studies suggest that kudzu has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.

Kudzu’s alteration of alcohol consumption may be through direct effects at brain benzodiazepine receptors on the GABAA complex. Natural Pharmacia International supplied us with puerarin (NPI-031G) so that we could study the effects of the major isoflavone in kudzu extract on alcohol consumption in the same naturalistic setting that we used to study kudzu extract (Lukas et al, 2005). Puerarin (600 mg, b.i.d.) was administered in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design for one week prior to an afternoon 1.5 h drinking session. During the drinking session, participants had access to up to six bottles of their preferred brand of beer (in addition to juice and water). Drinking behavior was recorded by a custom-built end table that housed a concealed electronic scale that was connected to a computer in the control room. Other metrics of alcohol consumption are percent days abstinent and number of consecutive days of abstinence.

Kudzu’s Benefits for Health

The reduction in drinking was evident rather quickly as it was apparent for the second through sixth beers and no kudzu-treated participant drank five or six beers, which suggests that binge drinking was curtailed. This randomized between-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involved 2 weeks of baseline, 4 weeks of treatment, and 2 weeks of follow-up. Seventeen men (21–33 years) who reported drinking 27.6 ± 6.5 drinks/week with a diagnosis of alcohol abuse/dependence took either kudzu extract (250 mg isoflavones, t.i.d.) or matched placebo on a daily basis. They reported alcohol consumption and desire to use alcohol using a wrist actigraphy device; twice weekly laboratory visits were scheduled to monitor medication adherence and adverse events. This randomized between-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involved two weeks of baseline, four weeks of treatment and two weeks of follow-up. Seventeen men (21–33 years) who reported drinking 27.6 ± 6.5 drinks/week with a diagnosis of alcohol abuse/dependence took either kudzu extract (250 mg isoflavones, t.i.d.) or matched placebo on a daily basis.

Another study found that kudzu may really “affect alcohol consumption patterns.” In this same study, people who took an isoflavone extract from the kudzu plant before drinking took longer to reach for the liquor cabinet. In fact, even a single dose of kudzu extract may be helpful if you’re looking to reduce your https://ecosoberhouse.com/ drinking. The rates of alcohol drinking during follow-up phase were also reduced compared to baseline in both the kudzu- and placebo-treated groups. We had not expected that any beneficial effects would remain after kudzu extract had cleared the body based on our pharmacokinetic results (Penetar et al., 2006).

Is kudzu effective for long-term alcoholism recovery?

Free radicals are molecules that can damage cells, leading to a range of health issues. And while it did contain the isoflavones that are thought to be the active ingredients, our volunteers had to take five pills each to achieve the desired level of 500mg. However, there are no kudzu products on the market in the UK carrying the THR mark. Kudzu root, leaf, and flowers have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries. But today you can find it in the supplement aisle of most grocery stores. The most popular forms available appear to be powdered drink mixes, capsules, disintegrating tablets, and liquid extract drops.

Could a Chinese herb stop you drinking too much? – BBC.com

Could a Chinese herb stop you drinking too much?.

Posted: Sun, 24 Jan 2016 08:00:00 GMT [source]

Another mechanism that may contribute to the glucose lowering activity of puerarin is alteration in the expression of the glucose transporter (GLUT). Diabetes was induced by streptozotocin (STZ) 60 mg/kg iv Puerarin 15 mg/kg iv noticeably diminished blood glucose level and upregulated the mRNA and protein expression of the GLUT subtype 4 (GLUT-4) in soleus muscle cells (Hsu et al, 2003). Puerarin 100 mg/kg/day ip decreased the levels of blood glucose and insulin and the protein expression of GLUT-4 at the plasma membrane of skeletal muscle (Song and Bi, 2004). In a separate study, puerarin 15 mg/kg iv reduced blood glucose level and increased endorphin content in the absence of insulin stimulation in STZ-diabetic rats (Hsu et al, 2004). Interestingly, supplementation of 0.2% kudzu root extract in normal diet for 2 months reduced arterial pressure, body weight, fasting blood glucose, plasma total cholesterol, and insulin levels in both ovariectomized and non-ovariectomized SHR rats (Peng et al, 2009). Excessive intrahepatic triglyceride content in obese persons is a robust marker of metabolic abnormalities.

A standardized kudzu extract (NPI- reduces alcohol consumption in nontreatment-seeking male heavy drinkers

There is some evidence that kudzu root dietary supplements may cause liver injury. One study in mice found that taking 10 mg per day of kudzu root extract for 4 weeks caused liver toxicity (15). The participants reported their desire for and consumption of alcohol for the duration of the study. Researchers found that the kudzu extract had no effect kudzu extract for alcoholism on alcohol cravings, but it reduced the number of weekly alcoholic drinks by 34–57% (2). Kudzu extracts contain several compounds, with the highest concentration being isoflavones. The three major ones, puerarin, daidzin and daidzein have been the focus of attention for their likely contributions to the effects of the raw roots on drinking.

  • While it does not completely eliminate drinking, it is clearly effective in significantly reducing intake, which offers individuals an opportunity to engage in more responsible drinking patterns.
  • The root contains isoflavones, a compound that has been shown to reduce alcohol consumption in rats.
  • Lin et al, (1996) showed that 100 mg/kg/d (orally in food) of daidzein, daidzin, and puerarin in female P rats decreased alcohol consumption by 75%, 50%, and 42%, respectively.
  • Some medical scientists warn that chronic use of the root, especially during or shortly after drinking, may increase the risk of cancers.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption is a leading cause of illness worldwide (Shield et al., 2013) and has a significant impact on the health of millions people.