The Best Supplements for Alcoholics in Recovery

Brandon W

Brandon W

Brandon is an engineer, turned entrepreneur, turned addict who

As an alcoholic, your body quickly becomes deficient in a variety of vitamins and minerals. This article describes some of the most frequently overlooked vitamins and supplements that every alcoholic should look to add to their diet.
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    With all the time spent drinking alcohol, who has time to eat food?!

    Sadly, that’s generally the case with those suffering from alcoholism.  And, because of that, alcoholics are usually very deficient in a variety of key vitamins and minerals. 

    Below, you’ll find a list of vitamins, minerals & supplements that might just help you to heal your body from the years of abuse and neglect. 

    1. Milk Thistle (Silymarin)

    Milk Thistle (also known as Mary Thistle) is no stranger to heavy drinkers.  Not only is it a primary component in many anti-hangover pills, but it’s often recommended as a natural treatment for those who are concerned with potential liver damage.

    Milk thistle can be taken daily as a protective measure, and I’d highly recommend taking this anytime you’re planning to drink.  It will help to minimize your hangover, and give your liver a little relief as well.

    Dr. Berg - Benefits of Milk Thistle

    Research & References

    Silymarin as Supportive Treatment in Liver Diseases
    “In a pooled analysis of trials in patients with cirrhosis, silymarin treatment was associated with a significant reduction in liver-related deaths.”

    Silymarin for Liver Disease
    Silymarin has been used to treat alcoholic liver disease, viral hepatitis, and toxin-induced liver diseases, and can be promising in the approach to hepatocellular carcinoma.

    2. Vitamin B Complex

    The suite of B vitamins is essential for everyday brain functions, and that’s especially true for the heavy drinker.

    As you tax your system by ingesting alcohol, more and more nutrients are needed to help metabolize the nasty by-products of alcohol.  As such, your body is leeched of it’s normal reserves of crucial vitamins – especially your B-complex vitamins.

    One particularly important B vitamin is thiamine, and up to 80% of heavy drinkers are deficient in thiamine due to low absorption and low intake.

    Symptoms of thiamin deficiency include poor memory, loss of appetite, poor sleep, weight loss, irritability and so on…  In fact, if left untreated, a thiamin deficiency can lead to severe damage to your nervous system known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS).

    WKS can be life threatening with symptoms ranging from mental confusion, paralysis of the nerves in the eyes, and paralysis of extremeties.

    The symptoms of WE include mental confusion, paralysis of the nerves that move the eyes (i.e., oculomotor disturbances), and an impaired ability to coordinate movements, particularly of the lower extremities (i.e., ataxia). For example, patients with WE may be too confused to find their way out of a room or may not even be able to walk.

    Your B vitamin levels are highly correlated to your emotional and mental well-being.  In fact, a study in 1982 reported that 100% of patients admitted for depression were deficient in vitamin B2.  

    My advice to you, take a B complex vitamin every morning as soon as you wake!  You can’t get too many b vitamins, and it will help your longterm reserves as well as fighting any hangover symptoms you might have!

    3. NAC (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine)

    If you research the ingredients contained in any of the leading anti-hangover pills, you’ll likely find this gem. NAC isn’t a well-known supplement, relatively speaking, but it’s incredibly well researched. 

    NAC has a plethora of benefits for the alcoholic, both immediately and long-term

    To put it simply, NAC enables your liver to create Glutathione, and Glutathione is your body’s primary detoxification mechanism. 

    But, don’t take my word for it, watch the videos below with real doctors talking about NAC and it’s crazy superpowers.  

    p.s. You will no longer find NAC on Amazon (you can thank big pharma and the FTC 😊)

    Nutrition Recommendations for Those Who Consume Alcohol