Alcoholism may be controlled with nutrient therapy | Better Nutrition (1989-90) | Find Articles at BNET
Research into the genetics of alcoholism has taken off the last 15 years and has produced a great body of information blaming the disease on everything from tainted genes to permissive parents. Yet the consistent rate of failure in treating alcoholics has motivated some health experts to look at nutritional approaches. Some researchers suggest that alcoholism may, in some cases, actually result from hypoglycemia and nutritional deficiencies. For years, physicians believed that hypoglycemia resulted when alcohol was consumed in preference to food. However, according to Carl Pfeiffer, M.D., Ph.D., author of Mental and Elemental Nutrients, evidence suggests that many nutritional disorders, hypoglycemia in particular, actually precede alcoholism.
An experiment performed on rats confirmed this view. One group of rats was fed a refined carbohydrate diet known to cause hypoglycemia. Another group was fed unrefined carbohydrates and supplemental vitamins. A third was given a high-protein, unrefined-carbohydrate diet, typically used to treat hypoglycemia. Each group was given two drinking sources: water and alcohol. The group fed refined carbohydrates slowly began to prefer the alcohol until they eventually shunned water almost completely. The low-protein group drank a little alcohol, while the third group avoided the alcohol altogether.
According to Dr. Ross Trattler, a naturopath and osteopathic physician, although the original causes of drinking may be social, a dependence on alcohol is the start of a vicious cycle. "He or she drinks to relieve standard hypoglycemic symptoms of depression, tension, irritability, tiredness, inability to think and so on. The alcohol gives a blood sugar boost which acts as positive reinforcement, along with a reversal of the unpleasant hypoglycemic sensations."