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A cocktail that won't leave you reeling

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Researchers at Imperial College in London are developing a liquid that mimics the relaxing and energising effects of alcohol without poisoning the liver.

They are also developing a second formula, a pill, that would eliminate the effects of their cocktail, allowing users to sober up instantly, the Sunday Express reported.

Four compounds, which help users relax, gain confidence and become calm, have been identified the researchers said.

These would be made into a cocktail -- but the liquid would not make drinkers unsteady or lose concentration as they affect only the part of the brain that controls mood, said Professor David Nutt who is leading the research.

Prof Nutt, who is hoping to start human trials by next year, said: "We are using science to allow people to have a safe way to drink.

People will struggle to tell the difference between alcohol and our drinks except they will not feel unsteady."

Alcohol is broken down to a toxin called acetaldehyde, which can cause potentially deadly liver damage. But the new cocktail will target calming transmitters in the "Gaba" area of the brain but will not cause any harm.

Prof Nutt's pill that reverses the effects will allow users to work or operate machinery after a drink.

"You should be able to drink alcohol, take the pill and then drive or go to work without being impaired," he said.

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First Published: Sun, June 17 2012. 15:05 IST