Our current approach to looking at alcoholism as a character disorder is a travesty. Alcoholism is a disease, a biochemical disorder that affects approximately 18 million Americans. Yet we continue to treat alcoholics as if they caused their disease.
One particularly harmful misconception is that alcoholics have to hit rock bottom before they will seek treatment or can be effectively helped. This is as absurd as saying that a woman with breast cancer has to have multiple metastases throughout her body before she will respond to therapy.
Group counseling is typically the only “treatment” offered, which makes about as much sense as using group counseling to lower the blood sugar of patients with diabetes. Yet there is more than 50 years of evidence that alcoholism is likely caused by suboptimal intake of nutrients and can be treated with nutritional support.
Here are my specific recommendations for overcoming alcoholism:
- If you drink any alcohol at all, it is imperative that you supplement with a potent daily multivitamin and mineral regimen. This will not only reduce alcohol intake and make it easier to control drinking, but will also compensate for the nutrient losses that occur, even with social drinking.
- For alcohol problems, the following supplements will help curb cravings: 500–1,000 mg buffered vitamin C whenever cravings hit (up to 10,000 mg daily) and 500–1,000 mg L-glutamine three times a day on an empty stomach. I also suggest taking additional calcium, magnesium, zinc, and B-complex vitamins. You can find these supplements in health food stores.
- Curb your alcohol cravings with kudzu extract, which comes from a popular fast-growing vine from the South. Massachusetts researchers set up a “lab” in an apartment where study subjects came after work. They took either a kudzu supplement or a placebo capsule and then drank as many beers as they desired.
The experiment was later repeated and the kudzu-placebo groups were switched. Across the board, those taking kudzu drank more slowly and drank about half as much as when they were taking a placebo. If you tend to overindulge, give kudzu a try. Look for a standardized kudzu extract in health food stores and take as directed.
Now it’s your turn: What’s your opinion on this issue?