Quenching your thirst for knowledge: SENTIA is the present. Alcarelle is the future

Quenching your thirst for knowledge: SENTIA is the present. Alcarelle is the future

As you know, we love receiving your questions about SENTIA Spirits and how GABA works. So, once again our team of innovators and scientists, led by Professor David Nutt, has picked out another three of our most asked questions for you.

So, keep those questions coming in, and let us quench your thirst for

1. What’s the difference between SENTIA & Alcarelle?
If you’ve been following us for a while, you may have heard us talk about ‘Alcarelle’ as well as SENTIA, which is why a few of you have asked us what the difference between them is. You might even think you’ve already been drinking Alcarelle, or that it’s the active ingredient in SENTIA.

So, let us clarify: SENTIA is the present, Alcarelle is the future.

In the early 2000’s David Nutt, world-renowned neuropsychopharmacologist and GABA Lab’s Chief Scientific Officer, was tasked by the UK government to propose a 25-year vision for the future of alcohol. This is where he first introduced the concept of a safer, synthetic alternative to alcohol.

This concept became a reality with GABA Lab’s development of Alcarelle, and our goal is to have Alcarelle licensed and used by drinks producers as an ingredient to create a new generation of drinks that provide the social lubrication most of us want from alcohol, without the alcohol.

Food safety is rightly a key consideration for all new foods and GABA Labs must demonstrate  that Alcarelle is safe for consumers by taking Alcarelle through a formal regulatory testing process prescribed by the food standards authority in each relevant  country. GABA Labs intends to complete the US-based FDA GRAS  (Generally Recognised as Safe) regulatory testing program in the USA by 2026. This will allow Alcarelle to be available for purchase in the USA during 2027 and data gathered from consumers will also then enable GABA Labs to submit applications to the food standards authorities in the EU and other markets.

SENTIA is different to Alcarelle and is intended by GABA Labs as a ‘proof-of-concept’ drink, available today. In order to demonstrate the potential for a functional alcohol alternative today, GABA Labs selected a powerful botanical blend of GABAergic plant ingredients that have long been used as foods and food supplements by consumers. Because of their widespread and long-term traditional use by the general population, these established food ingredients are already ‘generally regarded as safe’ and do not require additional regulatory safety testing, so long as they are to be consumed within clearly defined safety limits (for SENTIA this is 100 ml per day). SENTIA’s plant-based ingredients are all selected from the established food-chain for their naturally ‘GABAergic’ properties, which means that they enhance and activate the pre-existing natural ‘GABA’ in our bodies.

2.  Does SENTIA contain Alcarelle

No. SENTIA does not contain Alcarelle. SENTIA is a complex, botanical blend with a pleasingly distinctive taste.

Alcarelle, on the other hand, is a single flavourless molecule that can be added as an ingredient by drinks makers to any drink or cocktail when approved as a replacement for alcohol.

3. Can you become dependent on GABA Spirits?

A low dose of alcohol activates GABA reducing social anxiety and promoting sociability and conviviality. When abused, alcohol can overwhelm GABA and Glutamate, as well as Dopamine and Endorphins to produce euphoria and disinhibition, and create tolerance and dependency.

SENTIA, by contrast, is a plant-based unfermented blend created to more narrowly target the GABA neurotransmitter. The blend contains long-established food ingredients that are known to act on GABA in a similar way to alcohol. We are careful to select widely used traditional ingredients that are not known for tolerance or dependency and we use quantities in our blends that respect established food use standards.