Bad news for New Year’s Eve revellers! Hangover ‘cures’ don’t work, study says 

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Many of us will be overindulging on alcohol to ring in 2022, but a new study warns that many popular bedside hangover cures won’t be of much use on January 1. 

In a review of previous research papers, London academics have found ‘no convincing scientific evidence’ that hangover ‘cures’ are effective at all. 

These purported ‘cures’ include clove extract, red ginseng, Korean pear juice, Tolfenamic acid and extract from Hovenia dulcis, a Japanese tree species.  

The researchers say there’s ‘only very low quality evidence’ that there’s any effective ‘pharmacologically active intervention for treatment or prevention of an alcohol-induced hangover’.  

They claim that the best method of preventing hangover symptoms is to completely avoid alcohol or drink in moderation. 

They also warn against potentially harmful ‘hair of the dog’ methods – in other words, drinking alcoholic substances such as whisky the following morning.

Bad news for New Year’s Eve revellers! Hangover ‘cures’ don’t work, study says 

A new review has found only very low-quality evidence that substances claiming to treat or prevent alcohol-induced hangovers actually work. Pictured is essential oil from the extraction of clove seeds

Korean pear juice has long been used as a hangover cure in Korea and China. However, there's no convincing scientific evidence that it and other hangover cures work, the new study says

Korean pear juice has long been used as a hangover cure in Korea and China. However, there's no convincing scientific evidence that it and other hangover cures work, the new study says

Korean pear juice has long been used as a hangover cure in Korea and China. However, there’s no convincing scientific evidence that it and other hangover cures work, the new study says

The study was led by a team of researchers from King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. 

They warn that hangovers not only cause physical and mental discomfort, but can affect professional performance if we’re working the following day. 

‘Hangover symptoms can cause significant distress and affect people’s employment and academic performance,’ said study author Dr Emmert Roberts at King’s College London.

‘Given the continuing speculation in the media as to which hangover remedies work or not, the question around the effectiveness of substances that claim to treat or prevent a hangover appears to be one with considerable public interest. 

INEFFECTIVE HANGOVER ‘CURES’ 

– – Clovinol (extract of clove buds) 

– Red Ginseng

– Curcumin

– Duolac ProAP4 (probiotics)

– L-cysteine

– N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC)

– Rapid Recovery (L-cysteine, thiamine, pyridoxine and ascorbic acid)

– Loxoprofen (loxoprofen sodium)

– SJP-001 (naproxen and fexofenadine)

– Phyllpro (Phyllanthus amarus) 

– Hovenia dulcis Thunb. fruit extract (HDE) 

– Polysaccharide rich extract of Acanthopanax (PEA) 

– Korean Pear Juice

– L-ornithine

– Prickly Pear

– Artichoke extract

– ‘Morning-Fit’ (dried yeast, thiamine nitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, and riboflavin)

– Propranolol

– Tolfenamic acid

– Chlormethiazole

– Pyritinol 

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‘Our study has found that evidence on these hangover remedies is of very low quality and there is a need to provide more rigorous assessment. 

‘For now, the surest way of preventing hangover symptoms is to abstain from alcohol or drink in moderation.’ 

Numerous remedies claim to be effective against hangover symptoms; however, up-to-date scientific examination of the literature is lacking. 

The new study, published in the early hours of New Year’s Day in the scientific journal Addiction, assessed 21 placebo-controlled randomised trials of clove extract, red ginseng, Korean pear juice and other hangover cures.  

Closeup of red ginsengs. This is a plant that grows in Korea, China, and Siberia - but researchers say it doesn't effectively treat hangovers

Closeup of red ginsengs. This is a plant that grows in Korea, China, and Siberia - but researchers say it doesn't effectively treat hangovers

Closeup of red ginsengs. This is a plant that grows in Korea, China, and Siberia – but researchers say it doesn’t effectively treat hangovers

Although some studies showed statistically significant improvements in hangover symptoms, all evidence was of very low quality usually because of methodological limitations or imprecise measurements. 

In addition, no two studies reported on the same hangover remedy and no results had been independently replicated. When studies are replicated with the same or similar results, it gives greater validity to the findings. 

Three quarters of all included studies (16 out of 21, or 76 per cent) reported data on sample sizes of fewer than 30 participants.

Dubiously, evidence for clove extract as a hangover cure was based on data from only 16 participants. 

Of the ultimate 386 analysed participants, only 149 (38.6 per cent) were female and eight included trials (38 per cent) were conducted exclusively with male participants.

The new analysis has been published a minute into the new year, when revellers will be overindulging on alcohol to ring in 2022 (stock image)

The new analysis has been published a minute into the new year, when revellers will be overindulging on alcohol to ring in 2022 (stock image)

The new analysis has been published a minute into the new year, when revellers will be overindulging on alcohol to ring in 2022 (stock image)

Differences in the effects of alcohol on men and women are well-documented – for example, if a woman and a man drink the same amount, the woman’s blood alcohol level will almost always be higher than the man’s. 

In terms of the methods, there were considerable differences in the type of alcohol given to participants and whether it was given alongside food, which likely influenced findings.   

According to the researchers, future studies should be more rigorous in their methods, for example by using validated scales to assess hangover symptoms. 

There is also a need to improve the participation of women in hangover research, they say.  

Overall, the researchers call for ‘more rigorous scientific exploration’ of the effectiveness of hangover remedies to convey to the public.

If this is achieved, it could change alcohol consumption habits, which would go on to benefit public health. 

WHAT DRINK CAUSES WHAT HANGOVER? EXPERTS REVEAL THE SPECIFIC SYMPTOMS OF YOUR FAVOURITE TIPPLE

Do you want to curb some of the awful hangovers that come with the festive celebrations this time of year? 

Hangovers differ not only depending on how much you drink, but also the type of drink you decide to opt for that evening.

Mulled wine is a yearly festive favourite, but sadly makes you feel worse for wear than some other drinks because it’s a sweet choice that can cause fatigue and dizziness the next day because of fluctuating blood sugar. 

Whereas tequila apparently causes no hangover due to the process behind making the Mexican tipple.

Here, Femail’s Lizzie May provides the inside information you need to know what drink will cause you what symptoms of your hangover the next day.

DARK SPIRITS: MUSCLE ACHES AND SEVERE NAUSEA  

Dr Zenon Andreou, a GP and online doctor for Asda Online Doctor by ZAVA, said that by drinking a lighter spirit like vodka, gin and light beers, you are consuming less congeners with each glass.

Congeners are a by-product of the fermentation process that goes into making darker drinks like dark rum and whiskey, red wine and brandy.

With 15 years of experience sourcing, trading, and learning about wine and spirits, Steve King, managing director at Bottled and Boxed, an online alcohol retailer, said that these darker spirits can prolong your symptoms of a hangover because your body has to break down both the alcohol and the congeners. 

Congeners have been known to make symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches and nausea more severe.

Dr Andreou added that they can be toxic, which mfeans they interfere with your body’s cell functions, hindering the body’s ability to repair itself the next morning.

RED WINE: HEADACHES  

Red wine headache is a type of hangover specific to red wines, with some people experiencing nausea and migraines within just 15 minutes of drinking a glass.

The darker wine has natural substances called tyramine and histamine which can cause the restrictions of blood vessels in the body, leaving you with a headache in the morning, says Dr Andreou.

He added: ‘These substances are sometimes up to 200 per cent higher in red wine than white wine, which is why you might feel worse after a night of drinking red.

Kerry Beeson, Nutritional Therapist at Optibac Probiotics said organic red wine might be a better alternative.

She said: ‘Alcohol can reduce friendly bacteria levels in our gut but so too can those foods that tend to go hand in hand with alcohol – high sugar, high fat and heavily processed – creating a double whammy assault on the gut and the friendly microbes that live there.

‘However, choosing organic red wine which has shown to be beneficial in small quantities.’

MULLED WINE: DIZZINESS, SHAKINESS AND FATIGUE

Although mulled wine has a lower alcohol content, when over-consumed, the natural and added sugars in mulled wine can spike your blood sugar levels rapidly, which can also cause headaches the next day.

This is due to hyperglycemia, or reactive hypoglycemia, an over or under-compensation of glucose in your bloodstream. And, as a result, can lead to unpleasant side effects such as dizziness, shaking and fatigue.

Celebrity nutritionist Yalda Alaoui said that calories vary enormously depending on the choice of alcohol you are opting for – and that affects how you feel the next day.

While a 125ml glass of wine contains around 125kcal, dry champagne averages around 95kcal, a sugary glass of mulled wine averages at 235 calories each, causing sugar cravings and a worse hangover the next day.  

She says: ‘I recommend staying clear of sugary alcoholic beverages and opting for dry wine or champagne to minimise the disruption on blood sugar levels and reduce cravings after consumption.

‘The bonus with vintage wines is that they contain bacteria which might be beneficial for your gastrointestinal health.’

TOO MUCH OF ANY ALCOHOL:  DEHYDRATION

Dr Kathryn Basford, also a doctor for Asda Online Doctor by Zava, explained the making of a hangover and the science behind it.

She said: ‘When you drink, alcohol enters the bloodstream and inhibits the body’s production of vasopressin, a pituitary gland hormone which tells the body to retain water in the kidneys.

‘Without this, water goes directly to the bladder (which is why drinkers make lots of visits to the loo) and leaves the body dehydrated.

‘The headache that often signals the hangover is the brain’s reaction to this loss of fluid, while the nausea and lack of energy that accompanies the headache is the body’s response to low blood sugar levels and the loss of the minerals and electrolytes which help the body to function properly.

‘The more you drink, the more likely you are going to feel these effects, and the longer you might take to recover. 

TEQUILA: ‘NO HANGOVER’ IF YOU DON’T GO OVERBOARD!

Tequila is often considered the go-to drink for people on a night out, says Dr Andreou.

Pure, quality tequila made from 100% agave goes through a different type of fermentation process which means less sugars and congeners are inside the drink to make you feel so bad the next day.

He said: ‘When consumed in moderation and alongside water to keep you hydrated, you may be able to wake up the next day almost hangover free.’      

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Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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