CEO and co-Founder of Intox-Detox. Researched the science of hangover remedies for 10 years. Writer, poet, father and whiskey drinking patriot.
To help health-conscious people maintain the delicate balance between staying healthy and living life to the fullest.
Award-winning world class supplement formulator, owner of Clean Machine vegan sports supplement company and natural vegan pro bodybuilding champion.
Harvey the Pooka
Mythological creature of Celtic lore. Often found leaning on lampposts at 18th & Fairfax. Star of the film "Harvey" and according to the film "... a fairy spirit in animal form, always very large. The Pooka appears here and there, now and then, to this one and that one. A benign but mischievous creature. Very fond of rum pots, crack pots..." Inspired the name of the our parent company 18th & Fairfax LLC.
Intox-Detox Explainer Video
Love Your Liver!
How Intox-Detox Works
Protect Your Liver
Fun With Your Liver!
Alcohol Metabolism Explained in About 30 Seconds
The Condom for Your Liver...
What Makes Intox-Detox Different?
The Full Intox-Detox Story
Hi. My name is Andy Bennett. I am the CEO/Founder and Co-Inventor of Intox-Detox.
In over 4 years of traveling across America, partying and passing out samples of our all-natural, clinically-proven Alcohol Recovery and Liver Detox formula, I've learned a lot. I've met a lot of great people. Of course, I've also met a fair number of skeptics as well. Most of them have already formed an opinion before I say a single word. This is human nature, but I encourage everyone to approach all of life with an open mind. And Intox-Detox is no different.
"Don't believe everything you think."
These are words that were spoken at my high school graduation. I don't even remember who spoke; but it had a profound effect on me. Question everything. You don't have to be a scientist to be scientific. You don't have to know all the answers to find an answer. The Socratic Method has served me well. Speak honestly what you know. Be even more brutally honest about what you don't know. Everyone you meet knows something you don't. Every day my 5-year-old floors me with observations and insights that only a child who assumes nothing can see.
If it weren't for asking questions, Intox-Detox would never have been. My inquiries had to do with liver function. Why do we get hangovers? What mechanisms and processes are behind it all? We all have self-limiting thoughts. I thought that it was too complicated for me to figure out. How could I, with a nearly useless Bachelor of Arts degree (French and Philosophy Double Major, yes really!), figure out what causes the negative after effects of alcohol consumption, much less come up with a real solution?
Had I believed my initial thought, that I was too dumb or inadequate to understand - much less solve the problem, Intox-Detox would just be a half-dream that I never pursued. Instead it is my life's work and a dietary supplement beloved by thousands of people. All because I asked questions. I didn't believe what others accepted as "truth". And I had some really smart people to lean on.
A Matter of Enzymes
Even before I understood the mechanics, I knew that alcohol metabolism depends on enzymes. All of the chemical reactions that occur in your body are enzymatic. For example, if digestion is improved by taking digestive enzymes, then theoretically you could improve liver function by increasing the number of liver enzymes. That was the original idea that lead to Intox-Detox.
As I went deeper down the rabbit hole, a good friend and biochemist explained to me that alcohol metabolism is a 2-step process. It works like this…
Ethanol meets the ADH or alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme, which produces the “Hangover Toxin” Acetaldehyde or ALD for short.
Acetaldehyde then meets with the ALDH2 liver enzyme or aldehyde dehydrogenase, which produces acetate or acetic acid, a harmless substance similar to vinegar, which is excreted directly or recycled into energy production.
My biochemist friend explained that theoretically, speeding up Step 1 alone could potentially make hangovers worse. You would accumulate more of the deadly aldehyde chemical ALD, which causes side effects like nausea, headache and vomiting. If that’s not a hangover, then I don’t know what is.
A better strategy would be to target Step 2 of the process, where toxic ALD is turned into harmless acetate. By eliminating the main “Hangover Toxin” ALD faster, you would decrease the amount of time your body is exposed to the damaging free radicals. Supplying a source of the “Master Antioxidant” L-Glutathione would further improve this effect, as it binds ALD and supports the process of breaking it down in the liver.
Think of your liver like a filter for your blood. Alcohol and its byproduct Acetaldehyde (ALD) are impurities that need to be filtered out. A hangover is like a traffic jam in your liver, where toxins have clogged the filter and there are insufficient enzymes to continue eliminating the main toxin from alcohol.
From Concept to Formula
Enter our Co-Inventor and chief formulator, Geoff Palmer. He is well-known in the industry for creating truly efficacious science-based products that really work in the real world. He is also the Owner and Founder of the vegan sports supplement company Clean Machine. Shortly after we became friends, I pitched the Intox-Detox concept to him, based on my research and conversations with my previously-mentioned biochemist friend.
We knew exactly what result we wanted to achieve in the liver, but we didn’t know what natural ingredients could pull it off. Initially, we were going to create a supplement that supplied the ALDH liver enzyme directly, for the purpose of speeding up that 2nd Step of alcohol metabolism. In fact, it’s quite easy to source from common brewer’s yeast cells. The little microscopic bugs that make alcohol for us contain the enzymes to convert Ethanol and Acetaldehyde in multiple directions. The fascinating book "Proof: The Science of Booze" goes into some detail about the miracle of domesticating yeast.
You might have heard how some people eat live, active yeast so that they can taste beer all day without getting drunk. This works because some of the alcohol in the stomach is getting converted before it ever reaches the bloodstream. We thought about creating a supplement called Intox-Detox Xero, which would keep you from getting drunk. From examining our market, we quickly learned that no one wanted a product to keep them from getting a tipsy.
Enzymes are Tricky
The problem with using ALDH enzyme is that we could not get it into the blood stream intact, where it needed to be to influence alcohol and aldehyde metabolism. Enzymes are large protein structures made of amino acids. Our stomachs break theses chains down before they get into the bloodstream. So, no matter how much of the enzyme you consume, only its building blocks would be delivered. Imagine an enzyme as a brick chimney. The individual bricks are amino acids. No matter how many chimneys you consume, only the individual brocks would reach the bloodstream. You could never get the whole chimney in.
The only way to deliver it intact would be through intravenous injection, and only drugs can be delivered that way. The enzyme itself is too large to deliver through mucous membranes or skin. We hit a dead end. It was impossible.
Once again, rather than giving up, I asked more questions. Are there any natural substances that help the liver produce more of the ALDH2 enzyme? In fact, there are. And this was just the breakthrough we needed. Geoff went back to the stacks and looked for herbs that were clinically proven to enhance the 2nd Step of alcohol metabolism by positively influencing levels of the liver enzyme we needed.
Not a Raisin, Not Japanese
Eureka! Geoff discovered Hovenia dulcis, a plant from Traditional Chinese Medicine, commonly referred to as Oriental Raisin Tree or Japanese Raisin. Funny thing is that the fruiting bodies are not really raisins. The stalk, seeds and fruit contain the active ingredients (more on that in a moment). They also aren’t really Japanese. Hovenia dulcis is known throughout the Asian medicinal herbal traditions as a liver tonic and hangover remedy. In fact, it is beloved in Korea as the number one “hangover cure” on the market. (Their words not ours. We make sure to play by the rules and be fully FDA-compliant at all times)
Digging deeper, we found that Japanese Raisin extract contains a natural chemical called DHM (Dihydromyricetin), which is thought to help the liver eliminate toxins from alcohol by positively affecting levels of both ADH (alcohol dehydrogenase) and ALDH2 (aldehyde dehydrogenase). Essentially, upregulating the two crucial steps needed to more quickly turn toxic Ethanol and Acetaldehyde into harmless acetate. Basically, this plant was reported to do exactly what we were attempting to achieve with Intox-Detox. But did it REALLY work?
More research needs to be done. However, the human studies that have been done showed that use of DHM from Japanese Raisin helped to speed up the elimination of toxic Acetaldehyde (the “Hangover Toxin”) from the liver, as compared to control groups. We also know that Japanese Raisin is safe for humans in large quantities. In fact, it may offer other benefits such as liver protection, antioxidant properties and balancing stress, according to the Hovenia dulcis manufacturer Life Tree.
From Laboratory to Real World
Intox-Detox is personal to me. I started the company because I enjoy a few drinks, but I hate hangovers. And by my mid-20’s the hangovers had been getting worse, even from just a few drinks. That’s why I set out to find a solution.
Professionally, I have been around the supplement industry for nearly 20 years. I love natural supplements because they can do amazing things for us. We are living in a golden age of dietary supplements, where real research is helping us understand why and how they work.
The dark side of the industry is that many companies exploit or misrepresent science to make money. The worst offenders are in the fat-burning, weight-loss and muscle-building segments of the industry. In my career, I have pretty much seen it all. And there is nothing I hate more than a company selling “miracle supplements” with false promises and/or bad science. Don’t let them fool you though. There is real science out there. And I wanted to make sure that we build a real company with truly efficacious products based on real science.
One of the problems with “science” in our industry is that companies pay for the result they want. When you fund your own research, you tend to get the outcome that you hoped for. The research used to formulate Intox-Detox was already done before we started. We saw a market opportunity because no one in the US was using Japanese Raisin in its clinical dosage.
You should always be vigilante of supplement companies citing “science”. Another huge fraudulent practice is quoting impressive studies and then formulating products that fall short of the clinical ingredients and doses from the research. Great, the ingredient works, but are you actually using the EXACT amount used in the clinical trials? Very few companies do. Why? Because it’s expensive to do things right. With Intox-Detox, we used the exact amount of the ingredients shown to be effective in the research studies.
If I had a dollar for every know-it-all investor who told me to create a “placebo” product and use the science to sell the hell out of a crappy product. I call this the “smash and grab” technique, and it’s ubiquitous throughout the dark side of our industry. Many have done it – they get in, make their millions and sell off the company before the public realizes they have been bamboozled.
A Company Built to Last
One particular investor comes to mind. He said he would only invest in Intox-Detox if we cut our clinical amount of Japanese Raisin by a third. I looked him in the eye and politely delivered the universal expression for “I am about to tell you to go to Hell” – With all due respect, Sir, I refuse to build a supplement company like that.
Aside from our awesome formula, our greatest strength is our loyal customers. We didn’t build a company on flashy marketing, millions of dollars in ads and false promises. Intox-Detox started with a quality product that is clinically-proven and we took it straight to the people.
We are honest about our product and what to expect. Intox-Detox is clinically-proven and formulated to both protect the liver and help avoid the misery of the next morning, when taken before or during alcohol consumption. It’s not magic; it’s science. It speeds up liver function and helps protect your body. It is not a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card. It is not a replacement for responsible drinking or common sense. It is merely a tool to enable social drinkers to enjoy themselves while maintaining peace of mind. And like any tool, it will not work if you don't use it correctly. Try using a screw driver backwards; how well would it work?
Of all the things I have learned from the process of creating, formulating and disseminating our product and message, the number one thing is balance.
Life is all about balance. You can abstain from drinking alcohol all together if you choose. That’s actually a great choice for some people. Alcohol addiction is real. It should only be treated by a qualified medical professional. However, for the moderate social drinkers among us, forgoing alcohol will NOT make you live forever. Life is for us to enjoy.
The Intox-Detox name implies this life balance. If you “Intox” too much, you damage your body and divert crucial energy that should be put into your family, work and community. If you “Detox” too much you can become neurotic and miss out on a lot of social interaction. Intox-Detox means being preemptive and thinking ahead by protecting your body and detoxifying as you go. The Intox-Detox logo is folded back upon itself like an Infinity symbol because I see it as the virtuous cycle of your social life.
Our stated mission is to help health-conscious social drinkers maintain the delicate balance between staying healthy and living life to the fullest.
Enjoy life. Work hard. Play hard. Breathe deeply. Love completely. Explore the world. Don't believe everything you think. Drink responsibly.
And stay #LIVERSTRONG!
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