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This Company Claims to Have Made a Vodka That Won't Cause Any Liver Damage

A team of scientists has worked tirelessly to create what they call the world’s first "functional spirit."

Blindfold someone and have them taste a half-dozen kinds of vodka. Odds are, that person will have a really tough time telling the difference between smooth-as-fuck Grey Goose, tacky Trump, or Costco's finest.

Not only do they taste the same, but they all have the same effect on your body—they fuck it up. But there is one vodka brand which claims to differ from the others on that second point.

For almost a decade, Harsha Chigurupati and his team of experts at Bellion Vodka worked tirelessly to create what they call the world's first "functional" spirit. While it could be argued that any hard liquor is functional as long as your main goal is to get wasted, the good folks at Bellion have created "a new kind of spirit that has a function beyond its normal use resulting from the addition of new, useful ingredients."


READ MORE: Why Costco's Vodka May Be Your Best Bet

What does that mean? It means forget pear or mushroom infusions; what's really lacking in your drink is glycyrrhizin, mannitol, and potassium sorbate. By combining these scary-sounding chemicals with vodka, its creators claim it can protect the liver from booze when excess alcohol enters the bloodstream. According to Bellion, NTX-laced vodka reduced the harm done to the liver by 93 percent.

"Nobody drinks alcohol because they want to damage their liver or their DNA, obviously," Chigurupati told Drinks Business. "Everybody on this planet drinks alcohol because of the tipsy feeling and intoxication they get from it. There's no reason why human beings still choose one or the other. Now they can drink alcohol, enjoy it and protect their liver and DNA at the same time."

And if there's one place on this planet that could use a functional vodka that reduces the potential harms of alcohol, it's Las Vegas. "The Vegas market is great because we know that a significant population comes to Vegas to party and consume alcohol," Chigurupati said. "If they're going to drink anyway then why not do it in the safer manner? So, from that standpoint, Vegas is strategic to be able to get the word out."

Nevada has become the fifteenth state to make Bellion Vodka with NTX commercially available, but (supposedly) liver-friendly booze is hardly an excuse to drink like an asshole.

"How this new product might be construed by the public is that you can drink without damage, and that's not true," Michael Levy, medical director of the Las Vegas Centre for Addiction Medicine told Drinks Business. "We all know that driving has become safer because of seatbelts, and bikes, and motorbikes have become safer because of helmets. At the end of the day, when you give a safer alternative to humanity, humanity does benefit."

So, has drinking become safer? Probably not. NTX vodka acts only on the liver, while that other organ—the brain—is still at the mercy of alcohol, meaning that drinking and driving, assaults, and alcoholism probably won't be going anywhere anytime soon.