In Chile, per capita alcohol consumption far exceeds the recommendations of the World Health Organization. According to a 2010 study, on average men consume between 7 and 9 drinks per day and women, between 3 and 5 drinks. This record black puts us at the head of consumption at the Latin American level.
In that sense, researchers from the University of Chile took an important step to prevent alcoholism. After two years of work, academics from the Faculty of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Mario Rivera and David Vásquez, managed to determine that a drug compound called ALDA-1 reduces alcohol intake in experimental animals.
This experimental pharmacological agent was synthesized by Dr. Vásquez, and induces the elimination of acetaldehyde, a neuroactive metabolite generated from alcohol, while Dr. Rivera, with the help of university students, managed to determine the effects of this compound on the acquisition and maintenance of the habit of drinking alcohol in an animal model of excessive alcohol consumption.
"It was noted that there was a protection in this model, rats that are genetically predisposed to alcohol consumption," Professor Rivera concludes.
According to WHO, there are 3.3 million deaths annually in the world (5.9% of global deaths) attributable to alcohol use, so the application of this compound to humans could have benefits. However, Professor Rivera assures that there is still way for that. "The results are promising, but previous studies of toxicology in animals must be carried out prior to projecting it in humans, we must prove that the substance is safe, that is what comes next."