Wednesday, May 18, 2005

My Kind Of Laboratory

MacDuff, are you listening?

Researcher Scott Lukas did not have any trouble rounding up volunteers for his study, published in this month's issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Lukas' team at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital set up a makeshift "apartment" in a laboratory, complete with a television, reclining chair and a refrigerator stocked with beer.
Lukas recruited 14 men and women in their 20s to spend four 90-minute sessions consuming beer and watching TV. Researchers selected people who said they regularly consumed three to four drinks per day.

After the first session, some subjects received capsules of kudzu, others a placebo. "Unbeknownst to them, I was weighing that mug of beer every time they took a sip," Lukas said. "We actually got a sip-by-sip analysis of their drinking behavior." None of the subjects had any side effects from mixing kudzu with beer. "It's perfectly safe, from what we can tell," Lukas said. "Individuals reported feeling a little more tipsy or lightheaded, but not enough to make them walk into walls or stumble and fall."


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