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Concept: Vodka


Whisky is distilled to around 70% alcohol by volume (vol-%) then diluted to about 40 vol-%, and often drunk after further slight dilution to enhance its taste. The taste of whisky is primarily associated with amphipathic molecules, such as guaiacol, but why and how dilution enhances the taste is not well understood. We carried out computer simulations of water-ethanol mixtures in the presence of guaiacol, providing atomistic details on the structure of the liquid mixture. We found that guaiacol is preferentially associated with ethanol, and, therefore, primarily found at the liquid-air interface in mixtures that contain up to 45 vol-% of ethanol. At ethanol concentrations of 59 vol-% or higher, guaiacol is increasingly surrounded by ethanol molecules and is driven to the bulk. This indicates that the taste of guaiacol in the whisky would be enhanced upon dilution prior to bottling. Our findings may apply to other flavour-giving amphipathic molecules and could contribute to optimising the production of spirits for desired tastes. Furthermore, it sheds light on the molecular structure of water-alcohol mixtures that contain small solutes, and reveals that interactions with the water may be negligible already at 89 vol-% of ethanol.

Concepts: Oxygen, Water, Molecule, Ethanol, Chemical substance, Chemical compound, Vodka, Brandy


Research on a possible causal association between alcohol consumption and risk of prostate cancer is inconclusive. Recent studies on associations between alcohol consumption and other health outcomes suggest these are influenced by drinker misclassification errors and other study quality characteristics. The influence of these factors on estimates of the relationship between alcohol consumption and prostate cancer has not been previously investigated.

Concepts: Alcohol, Epidemiology, Cancer, Metastasis, Prostate cancer, Alcoholism, Beer, Vodka


Alcohol hangover is a growing research area, but differences across the life span have not been assessed. Here, we test the hypothesis that the severity of hangovers depends on age.

Concepts: Alcoholism, Differences, Alcohol abuse, Alcoholic beverage, Vodka, Blood alcohol content, Drinking culture, Hangover


Alcohol dependence is associated with a dysregulated dopamine system modulating reward, craving and cognition. The monoamine stabilizer (-)-OSU6162 (OSU6162) can counteract both hyper- and hypo-dopaminergic states and we recently demonstrated that it attenuates alcohol-mediated behaviors in long-term drinking rats. The present Phase II exploratory human laboratory study investigated to our knowledge for the first time the effects of OSU6162 on cue- and priming-induced craving in alcohol dependent individuals. Fifty-six alcohol dependent individuals were randomized to a 14-day-treatment period of OSU6162 or placebo after their baseline impulsivity levels had been determined using the Stop Signal Task. On Day 15, participants were subjected to a laboratory alcohol craving test comprised of craving sessions induced by: i) active - alcohol specific cues, ii) neutral stimuli and iii) priming - intake of an alcoholic beverage (0.20g ethanol/kg bodyweight). Subjective ratings of alcohol craving were assessed using the shortened version of the Desire for Alcohol Questionnaire and visual analog scales (VAS). OSU6162 treatment had no significant effect on cue-induced alcohol craving, but significantly attenuated priming-induced craving. Exploratory analysis revealed that this effect was driven by the individuals with high baseline impulsivity. In addition, OSU6162 significantly blunted the subjective liking of the consumed alcohol (VAS). Although the present 14-day-treatment period, showed that OSU6162 was safe and well tolerated, this exploratory human laboratory study was not designed to evaluate the efficacy of OSU6162 to affect alcohol consumption. Thus a larger placebo-controlled efficacyclinical trial is needed to further investigate the potential of OSU6162 as a novel medication for alcohol dependence.

Concepts: Alcohol, Alcoholism, Alcohol abuse, Dopamine, Alcoholic beverage, Beer, Vodka, Drinking culture


In consumer food-sensory studies, sorting and closely related methods (for example, projective mapping) have often been applied to large product sets which are complex and fatiguing for panelists. Analysis of sorting by Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) is common, but this method discards relevant individual decisions; analysis by DISTATIS, which accounts for individual differences, is gaining acceptance. This research posits that replication can improve DISTATIS analysis by stabilizing consumer sensory maps, which are often extremely unstable. As a case study a fatiguing product set was sorted: 10 American whiskeys-5 bourbons and 5 ryes-were sorted into groups by 21 consumers over 2 replications. These products were chosen because American whiskeys are some of the most important distilled beverages in today’s market; in particular, “bourbon” (mashbill more than 50% corn) and “rye” (more than 50% rye) whiskeys are important and assumed to be products with distinct sensory attributes. However, there is almost no scientific information about their sensory properties. Data were analyzed using standard and aggregated DISTATIS and MDS. No significant relationship between mashbill and consumer categorization in whiskeys was found; instead, there was evidence of producer and aging effects. aggregated DISTATIS was found to provide more stable results than without replication, and DISTATIS results provided a number of benefits over MDS, including bootstrapped confidence intervals for product separation. In addition, this is the first published evidence that mashbill does not determine sensory properties of American whiskey: bourbons and ryes, while legally distinct, were not separated by consumers.

Concepts: Scientific method, Vodka, Consumer protection, Distilled beverage, Brandy, Whisky, Bourbon whiskey, American whiskey


Alcohol use is one of the world’s leading causes of death and disease, although only a small proportion of individuals develop persistent alcohol use disorder (AUD). The identification of vulnerable individuals prior to their chronic intoxication remains of highest importance. We propose here to adapt current methodologies for identifying rats at risk of losing control over alcohol intake by modeling diagnostic criteria for AUD: inability to abstain during a signaled period of reward unavailability, increased motivation assessed in a progressive effortful task and persistent alcohol intake despite aversive foot shocks. Factor analysis showed that these three addiction criteria loaded on one underlying construct indicating that they represent a latent construct of addiction trait. Further, not only vulnerable rats displayed higher ethanol consumption, and higher preference for ethanol over sweetened solutions, but they also exhibited pre-existing higher anxiety as compared to resilient rats. In conclusion, the present preclinical model confirms that development of an addiction trait not only requires prolonged exposure to alcohol, but also depends on endophenotype like anxiety that predispose a minority of individuals to lose control over alcohol consumption.

Concepts: Alcohol, Ethanol, Yeast, Alcoholism, Motivation, Alcoholic beverage, Beer, Vodka


Murphy, AP, Snape, AE, Minett, GM, Skein, M, and Duffield, R. The effect of post-match alcohol ingestion on recovery from competitive rugby league matches. J Strength Cond Res 27(5): 1304-1312, 2013-This study investigated the effects of alcohol ingestion on lower-body strength and power and physiological and cognitive recovery after competitive Rugby League matches. Nine male Rugby players participated in 2 matches, followed by 1 of 2 randomized interventions, a control or alcohol ingestion session. Four hours post-match, participants consumed either beverages containing a total of 1 g of ethanol per kilogram bodyweight (vodka and orange juice; ALC) or a caloric and taste-matched nonalcoholic beverage (orange juice; CONT). Before the match, immediately post-match, 2 hours post-, and 16 hours post-match measures of countermovement jump (CMJ); maximal voluntary contraction (MVC); voluntary activation (VA); and damage and stress markers of creatine kinase (CK), C-reactive protein (CRP), cortisol, and testosterone analyzed from venous blood collection; and cognitive function (modified Stroop test) were determined. Alcohol resulted in large effects for decreased CMJ height (-2.35 ± 8.14% and -10.53 ± 8.36% decrement for CONT and ALC, respectively; p = 0.15, d = 1.40), without changes in MVC (p = 0.52, d = 0.70) or VA (p = 0.15, d = 0.69). Furthermore, alcohol resulted in a significant slowing of total time in a cognitive test (p = 0.04, d = 1.59) while exhibiting large effects for detriments in congruent reaction time (p = 0.19, d = 1.73). Despite large effects for increased cortisol after alcohol ingestion during recovery (p = 0.28, d = 1.44), post-match alcohol consumption did not unduly affect testosterone (p = 0.96, d = 0.10), CK (p = 0.66, d = 0.70), or CRP (p = 0.75, d = 0.60). It seems that alcohol consumption during the evening after competitive rugby matches may have some detrimental effects on peak power and cognitive recovery the morning after a Rugby League match. Accordingly, practitioners should be aware of the potential associated detrimental effects of alcohol consumption on recovery and provide alcohol awareness to athletes at post-match functions.

Concepts: Blood, Effect, Ethanol, Perception, C-reactive protein, Alcoholic beverage, Vodka, Rugby football


The objective of this study was to investigate residential exposure to alcohol outlets in relation to alcohol consumption and mental health morbidity (anxiety, stress, and depression). This was a cross-sectional study of 6,837 adults obtained from a population representative sample for the period 2006-2009 in Perth, Western Australia. The number of alcohol outlets was ascertained for a 1600 m service area surrounding the residential address. Zero-inflated negative binomial and logistic regression were used to assess associations with total alcohol consumption, harmful alcohol consumption (7-10 drinks containing 10 g of alcohol for men, 5-6 drinks for women) and medically diagnosed and hospital contacts (for anxiety, stress, and depression), respectively. The rate ratio for the number of days of harmful consumption of alcohol per month and the number of standard drinks of alcohol consumed per drinking day was 1.06 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.11) and 1.01 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.03) for each additional liquor store within a 1600 m service area, respectively. The odds ratio of hospital contact for anxiety, stress, or depression was 1.56 (95% CI: 0.98, 2.49) for those with a liquor store within the service area compared to those without. We observed strong evidence for a small association between residential exposure to liquor stores and harmful consumption of alcohol, and some support for a moderate-sized effect on hospital contacts for anxiety, stress, and depression.

Concepts: Logit, Alcohol, Ethanol, Wine, Alcoholic beverage, Vodka, Distilled beverage, Liquor store


Increasing alcohol taxes has proven effective in reducing alcohol consumption, but the effects of alcohol sales taxes on sales of specific alcoholic beverages have received little research attention. Data on sales are generally less subject to reporting biases than self-reported patterns of alcohol consumption.

Concepts: Alcohol, Alcoholism, Alcoholic beverage, Beer, Vodka, Drinking culture, Kefir


BACKGROUND: UK drinkers regularly consume alcohol in excess of guideline limits. One reason for this may be the high availability of low-cost alcoholic beverages. The introduction of a minimum price per unit of alcohol policy has been proposed as a means to reduce UK alcohol consumption. However, there is little in-depth research investigating public attitudes and beliefs regarding a minimum pricing policy. The aim of the present research was to investigate people’s attitudes and beliefs toward the introduction of a minimum price per unit of alcohol policy and their views on how the policy could be made acceptable to the general public. METHODS: Twenty-eight focus groups were conducted to gain in-depth data on attitudes, knowledge, and beliefs regarding the introduction of a minimum price per unit of alcohol policy. Participants (total N = 218) were asked to give their opinions about the policy, its possible outcomes, and how its introduction might be made more acceptable. Transcribed focus-group discussions were analysed for emergent themes using inductive thematic content analysis. RESULTS: Analysis indicated that participants' objections to a minimum price had three main themes: (1) scepticism of minimum pricing as an effective means to reduce harmful alcohol consumption; (2) a dislike of the policy for a number of reasons (e.g., it was perceived to ‘punish’ the moderate drinker); and (3) concern that the policy might create or exacerbate existing social problems. There was a general perception that the policy was aimed at ‘problem’ and underage drinkers. Participants expressed some qualified support for the policy but stated that it would only work as part of a wider campaign including other educational elements. CONCLUSIONS: There was little evidence to suggest that people would support the introduction of a minimum price per unit of alcohol policy. Scepticism about the effectiveness of the policy is likely to represent the most significant barrier to public support. Findings also suggest that clearer educational messages are needed to dispel misconceptions regarding the effectiveness of the policy and the introduction of the policy as part of a package of government initiatives to address excess alcohol consumption might be the best way to advance support for the policy.

Concepts: Alcohol, Focus group, Alcoholism, Alcoholic beverage, Introduction, Beer, Vodka