Inside One Man's Quest To Make Alcohol Safer For The Body –

Harsha Chigurupati has spent over a decade and approximately $35 million to create an alcoholic drink that could protect the liver from damage associated with alcohol consumption.

“I don’t believe in abstinence,” the 33-year-old told the Wall Street Journal. “What I do believe in is using technology to make life better. I’m not going to stop drinking, so why not make it safer?”

This question has led Chigurupati on a 12-year, ongoing quest to use technological advances to make drinking alcohol safer for the human body.

His company, Chigurupati Technologies, has created a compound called NTX (short for “no-tox”) that can be added to alcohol and, Chigurupati claims, can protect the liver and DNA from drinking-associated damage.

To prove it, Chigurupati funded multiple studies, both on rats and humans.

The studies seem promising: rats given NTX-infused vodka showed a reduction of biomarkers that indicate liver damage, 40% to 70%. Human trials found that biomarkers that predict liver damage were 93% lower for the subjects who drank NTX-infused vodka.

However, despite Chigurupati’s best efforts, he has been unable to get NTX—and its purported “health benefits”—cleared for labeling on spirits infused with the compound. The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB, makes decisions about whether such claims can be made on labeling. The TTB has reportedly rejected Chigurupati’s petition for the health-claim label multiple times.

In one case, the TTB reportedly rejected the claim because they believed that consumers might mistake NTX for naltrexone, a popular opioid addiction treatment medication.

Shortly after being denied the health-claim labels, Chigurupati Technologies got back to work. The company did more studies with NTX so they could petition for more health-claim labels.

The WSJ reports that back in May, the TTB denied the company’s health-claim labels yet again. This time citing that

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