In Chile, per capita alcohol consumption far exceeds the recommendations of the World Health Organization. According to a 2010 survey, on average, men consume between 7 and 9 drinks per day, and women consume between 3 and 5 drinks. This black record puts us at the forefront of consumption in Latin America.
In this sense, researchers from the University of Chile have taken an important step to prevent alcoholism. After two years of work, scientists at the Faculty of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences Mario Rivera and David Vazquez were able to determine that a pharmacological compound called ALDA-1 helps reduce alcohol consumption by experimental animals.
This experimental pharmacological agent was synthesized by Dr. Vásquez and causes the removal of acetaldehyde, a neuroactive metabolite produced from alcohol, while Dr. Rivera, with the help of university students, was able to determine the effect of this compound on the acquisition and maintenance of alcohol drinking in the animal model of excessive alcohol consumption.
“It was noted that this model was protecting rats that are genetically predisposed to drinking alcohol,” concludes Professor Rivera.
According to WHO, there are 3.3 million deaths annually in the world (5.9% of the total number of deaths in the world) associated with alcohol, so using this compound for people can be beneficial. However, Professor Rivera says the path is still ahead. “The results are promising, but you must conduct previous animal toxicology studies, before projecting them into humans, you must prove that the substance is safe, that’s what will soon be.”