What is DHM?
DHM (Dihydromyricetin) is a flavonoid component, traditionally known as an “anti-alcohol” herb. The most commonly bespoken source of DHM is the Japanese raisin tree (Hovenia dulcis). In China DHM is ranked under the top anti-hangover herbal medicines. Due to its abilities to ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it is often used therapeutically to cure alcoholism. Due to its origin, DHM is often reported to have a taste similar to raisins, clove, cinnamon or sugar.
Effects of DHM
DHM is able to prevent so called hang-overs. When taken prior to excessive drinking, the level of alcohol circulating within the bloodstream is reduced effectively. One interesting property for persons suffering alcoholism can be the reduced crave for alcohol with DHM therapy. It has further been proven to have protective effects to a certain degree when drinking alcohol on a regular basis. Administering DHM two hours before taking in ethanol, daily over a period of 6 months has shown to prevent the formation of fatty liver while significantly reducing ALT, AST and y-GT levels .
How does DHM work?
Dihydromyricetin (DHM) works by increasing functionality of two important enzymes responsible for alcohol levels and breakdown hereof. These enzymes are alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). ADH is responsible for breaking down alcohol into acetaldehyde and ALDH breaks down acetaldehyde into acetic acid. This enables your body to metabolize alcohol more rapidly. Since less ethanol is built up in the bloodstream, hang-over symptoms after waking, are reduced.
The calming and relaxing effects are only present at lower levels. At higher levels, alcohol consumption can cause loss of motoric control, slurry speech, aggressiveness, nausea up to a point of losing consciousness, coma and in worst case death by failure to breathe. As alcohol binds to GABA receptors and increases the effect produced by the GABA neurotransmitter on the brain. The right mixture of increased GABA and lessened glutamine levels give DHM its protective properties.
Studies on DHM
A study on man found out that DHM can reduce levels of alcohol significantly within the blood, saliva and the breath . The extract of Hovenia semen was also studied for its protective effects. It has been shown to acutely reduce the risk of toxic side effects or death in mice given Hovenia Semen extraxt .
Side-Effects of DHM
A study on animals to find out the toxicity of DHM failed to find any side-effects even when ingested in higher doses.
Recommended Dosage / Usage Instructions
Recommendations vary, however most sources suggest between 300mg and 600mg a day. Some people may increase dosage over time.
DHM supplements should not be used to consume alcohol easier over a long period of time. It is merely a remedy against excessive alcohol binges and of therapeutic use in battling alcoholism.
 - Effect of juice and fermented vinegar from Hovenia dulcis peduncles on chronically alcohol-induced liver damage in mice - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22648047
 - Effect of extracts from Hovenia dulcis Thunb. alcohol concentration in rats and men administered alcohol  - http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=JP9600243
 - Semen Hoveniae extract protects against acute alcohol-induced liver injury in mice. - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20673184