Jan 292006
 
Authors: Hallie Woods

Pop the Advil. Guzzle down the water. Try as hard as you may – nothing's going to get rid of that hangover except time. But what if you could avoid the hangover all together?

A new product debuting in Las Vegas may be able to stop a hangover before it starts. Cheerz Anti-Hangover is emerging as a preventive measure taken at the time of alcohol consumption to prevent the symptoms of a hangover and ultimately ease the harsh effects of alcohol on the liver.

"Similar products have been used for over 30 years in Europe," said Patrick Cochrane, CEO of Cheerz LLC. "It's fantastic; my friends, family and I have been using it for over a year."

Cheerz works by assisting the body in processing acetaldehyde, the toxic bi-product of alcohol. When alcohol first enters the body, it is metabolized by the liver into acetaldehyde, then broken down into a harmless acetic acid and expelled through urination.

"(Acetaldehyde) is very toxic stuff, and if it were to build up inside us, we would get violently sick; and indeed we could die," said Dr. David Ohlms of Mid-County Physicians, St. Louis, Mo.

An average person can process one drink per hour, with excess acetaldehyde flushed throughout the bloodstream causing symptoms of a hangover. Cheerz slows the conversion of alcohol into acetaldehyde while accelerating the conversion of acetaldehyde into acetic acid.

However, taken alone, Cochrane said that Cheerz would have no effect on the body and acts as an immune booster and a nutritional supplement.

"You can take it as much as you want," Cochrane said.

The product began hitting small retail outlets around the country as small tablets taken with every two to three drinks consumed. With the emergence of Cheerz in bars and casinos in Las Vegas, the tablets have been somewhat replaced by small lime shots that can be taken alone or used as a chaser.

"Shots are the fast track to the alcohol industry," Cochrane said.

Currently, the company is based off online orders and the distributions in Las Vegas. Cochrane said it might not be long before the product is seen nation-wide in common stores such as Wal-Mart or the neighborhood grocery store.

"We're in the pre-breakout period of getting our marketing campaign going," Cochrane said.

The product is also thought to be beneficial in stopping the harmful effects of alcoholism.

"Reducing acetaldehyde levels may also reduce the cravings that can potentially lead to alcoholism," Dr. Kenneth Blum, Ph.D., M.D., and credited with identifying the alcoholism gene, told Cheerz associates.

However, it is warned that the consumption of this product will not effect inebriation, and safety should be kept in mind whenever alcohol is a factor.

"The common sense approach to safe-drinking should always be taken," Cochrane said.

Hallie Woods can be reached at regional@collegian.com

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