The bright lights and alluring amenities associated with casinos make gambling seem glamorous, but even on its own, testing your luck has a definite appeal. Who, after all, hasn’t picked up a pack of cards, thrown some chips on a table or placed money on a game? I could shuffle and deal before I could tie my shoes, and I placed bets on horses long before I knew that skill rather than pretty names won races. Eighty-five percent of Americans have gambled at least once in their lives. It’s a part of our culture, a fun way to win (or lose) a little cash. But, sometimes that fun becomes more than a game; it becomes a problem.
Compulsive gambling can affect every part of a person’s life. It occurs when the bettor loses control of his actions. He is compelled to lay down more money, play one more hand or bet on one more team no matter how much is lost beforehand. Wins, rare as they may be, fuel the desire. The gambler can’t stop, despite knowing that he should. He resorts to lying, borrowing and stealing to avoid detection. His obsession detracts from family and work time. His life becomes gambling and only gambling. Often, it is not until he hits rock bottom that he is forced to seek help. Even then, his options are limited. Psychotherapy and self-help groups are the best forms of treatment, but they aren’t always successful. Fortunately, scientists may be on the verge of finding an additional way to curb the addiction.
N-acetyl cysteine is a common supplement, an amino acid that is thought to help detoxify your body, break up mucus and boost your immune system. It has also been linked to reward in your brain, which is why researchers tested its effects on gamblers. When 27 gamblers were given the supplement for eight weeks, 60 percent of them reported fewer urges to bet. A follow-up study in which the same participants were given either a placebo or N-acetyl cysteine furthered the findings, when 72 percent of those on the placebo returned to the tables. Eighty-three percent in the supplement group were able to stay away. A larger study should be done before definitive conclusions can be drawn, but the results are promising. A supplement could dim the bright lights of Atlantic City and Las Vegas. The gambler, in conjunction with therapy, could end his obsession, fold his final hand and rebuild his life.
|NOW Foods – NAC N-Acetyl Cysteine 600 mg. – 100 Vegetarian Capsules|