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Drug may help relieve jet lag

Drug may help relieve jet lag

(CNN) -- Many travelers on long-distance flights walk off the plane with droopy eyes, a tired body and an even more exhausted mind.

But help may be on the way, in the form of a new dietary supplement that shows promise at relieving the dreaded effects of jet lag.

The drug e-NAD-alert uses a form of stabilized N-A-D-H, a co-enzyme found in the body that stimulates cellular energy production.

The company that makes e-NAD-alert funded a study to test how jet lag affects brain function, and whether the supplement can successfully reduce the negative effects.

35 people, who were paid a small fee to take part in the research, were sent on a 6 p.m. flight from San Diego, California to Phoenix, Arizona.

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From Phoenix, they took a late night, or red-eye, flight to Baltimore, arriving at 6 a.m. the next morning. From Baltimore, the group was bused to Washington, DC.

One of the subjects, Nancy Cavanaugh, said she was having problems staying awake. "On the trip from Baltimore to Washington, I could feel my eyes were tired. I was almost falling asleep," she said.

Once they arrived in Washington, some of the subjects were given 20 milligrams of e-NAD-alert. Another group was given a placebo. Researchers said the placebo group was drowsier, with reaction times up to six-tenths of a second slower than the e-NAD-alert group.

The principal investigator of the study pointed out the slower reaction time can be dangerous, especially if someone is jet lagged and gets behind the wheel. "If you're traveling 60-70 miles an hour, that distance can become rather meaningful," said Dr. Gary Kay.

Not everyone is convinced of the powers of e-NAD-alert.

"The results are just too preliminary and the study is too small to make any broad conclusions about its use," said Richard Waldhorn of the Georgetown University Sleep Disorders Center.

Waldhorn said travelers passing through fewer than 6 time zones don't need any drugs or supplements to cope with jet lag. He suggested they simply avoid late meals and alcohol, and adjust their exposure to sunlight.



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