26th April 2012: Alcohol and the Brain Drain by Mike McInnes

Mike McInnes talks on Liver Brain Biology

Name of speaker and subject:

Mike McInnes

Title of talk:

Alcohol and the Brain Drain:  How to Provision the Brain Before, During and After Alcohol Consumption.

Bullet points of what you would like to cover:

  • Alcohol lowers cerebral energy metabolism – hence we forget the pleasure of its relaxation.
  • This may be avoided by forward provisioning cerebral energy reserve prior to and after alcohol consumption.
  • Honey is the Gold Standard food for selective liver replenishment.
  • This forward provisions cerebral energy reserve, reduces the risk of low blood glucose (hypoglycaemia) and of the metabolic stress this activates, and reduces risk of all the unpleasant after effects of alcohol consumption.
  • In addition honey improves the detoxification of alcohol via upgrading alcohol dehydrogenase.
  • Honey upgrades hepatic (liver) glutathione a vital hepatic antioxidant and important for optimal liver function.
  • Honey upgrades hepatic nitric oxide, a vital signal for optimal insulin signalling.
  • Post alcohol honey activates the Honey/Insulin/Melatonin (HYMN) Cycle, a cycle that forward provisions cerebral energy , reduces nocturnal metabolic stress, promotes quality sleep and recovery physiology, protects neurones from energy deficiency, and improves memory consolidation and learning during REM sleep.
  • Honey is the perfect food to consume prior to and post alcohol consumption.

Suggested you-tube links, websites and / or texts where further information may be found:


A few words about you and your passion:

Modern urban humans suffer from chronic cerebral energy deficits due, not to lack of food and energy, rather from excess consumption of energy dense and nutritionally poor foods.  The talk will explain this counter intuitive paradox and how we may avoid this.  Alcohol also impairs cerebral energy metabolism, but honey is the key to avoid this.  It is not surprising that ancient humans valued both these foods for their pleasure, but also we may imagine for their opposite metabolic actions, allowing us to enjoy alcohol, but avoiding any metabolic impairments.

A few lines about the history of your subject:

I have been researching the metabolism of honey with respect to cerebral energy provision for around 15 years, in particular during the nocturnal fast.  Alcohol is rather like the nocturnal fast, in so far as it presents the brain, an organ with a massive energy demand (22 times that of all other organs and tissues on a unit for unit basis) and no internal energy reserve, with a major energy challenge, for which it must rely on the tiny  liver store (liver glycogen).  Forward provisioning cerebral energy prior to alcohol and the nocturnal fast yield significant metabolic and health benefits.