- SΓ©rgio Alves Santos on Unsplash

Sorry everyone - there's no working hangover cure

Painful news, I know. But the science is clear about that.

From the hair of the dog to overpriced green smoothies, there’s no shortage of purported tonics for the lingering effects of a night on the sauce. Unfortunately, however, new research suggests that these supposed hangover cures may be nothing more than folk remedies, as there’s no real scientific evidence that any of them actually work. The systematic review looks at 21 placebo-controlled trials involving an array of different compounds that are often used to alleviate hangovers. Using a tool called the Grading of Recommendations Assessment Development and Evaluation (GRADE) framework, the authors concluded that all of these trials were of very low quality, and that the evidence they provide is nothing more than subjective impressions.

That’s not to say that none of the substances investigated showed promise as hangover cures. On the contrary, clove extract, red ginseng and Korean pear juice were all found to somewhat reduce discomfort while hanging. Other compounds that brought about improvements included a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkiller called tolfenamic acid, a vitamin B6 analog known as pyritinol and the amino acid L-cysteine. However, the study authors say that all of the trials included in their review were hindered by methodological concerns and imprecision and that none of these findings are particularly credible.

Interestingly, the study authors point out that common painkillers like aspirin or paracetamol have never been investigated as hangover cures in any placebo-controlled trial. Based on these observations, they call for adequate scientific exploration of potential hangover cures in order that practitioners and the public be provided with accurate evidence-based information and do not rely on non-efficacious or potentially harmful interventions. 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.

Stanislav Ivanitskiy on Unsplash

Stanislav Ivanitskiy on Unsplash

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Comments (1)

  • Jezza mentioned in one of his books how a B12 injection cured a hangover from Hell when working on the Top Gear Live tour, so thst sounds like it's worth a shout! For me, a stodgy breakfast and 2 ibuprofen fix it in half an hour 😁🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺

      11 days ago