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Red ginseng may counter some of alcohol’s brain-blasting effects

According to a study conducted last year, just four alcoholic drinks per week can contribute to cognitive decline. Now, based on tests on mice, researchers may have found a way to fight booze's brain-hampering effects with the potent red ginseng root.Korean red ginseng (KRG) has been used as an overall tonic in herbal folk medicine for over 2,000 years. In more recent scientific studies, the root has shown promise in fighting heart disease; boosting the efficacy of anticancer drugs in eliminating tumors; delivering…

Can Ethanol Fuel Ever Live Up to Its Hype?

This story was originally published by Grist. Sign up for Grist’s weekly newsletter here.Making Paint Cool in the Face of HeatTwo decades ago, when the world was wising up to the threat of climate change, the Bush administration touted ethanol — a fuel usually made from corn — for its threefold promise: It would wean the country off foreign oil, line farmers’ pockets, and reduce carbon pollution. In 2007, Congress mandated that refiners nearly quintuple the amount of biofuels mixed into the nation’s gasoline supply over…

Unraveling Alcohol’s Grip on the Brain and the Drive To Drink

Heavy alcohol consumption alters brain signaling pathways, impacting cognitive functions and promoting further drinking. Research in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity reveals that alcohol-dependent mice had increased levels of the immune signaling molecule IL-1β, which led to inflammation and altered neurotransmitter release. This finding could pave the way for improved treatments for alcohol use disorder by targeting the IL-1β pathway.Heavy alcohol consumption creates a vicious cycle by altering signaling pathways…