Cure for hangover? Lemon & lime drink is the best at helping the body process alcohol – Study

Saviour? Chinese researchers say the lemon and lime fizzy drink may help quell a hangover Saviour? Chinese researchers say the lemon and lime fizzy drink may help quell a hangover

It has long been a strong coffee or even a trusty Diet Coke that a worn-out reveller has turned to the morning after.

Now, however, experts say that Sprite may be best thing to lay your hands on.

Chinese scientists examined 57 beverages – ranging from herbal teas to fizzy pop – before concluding that the lemon and lime drink performed the best.

They first decided to look at what causes a hangover and discovered that rather than the alcohol itself, it could be the process of the body breaking down the alcohol that causes symptoms such as nausea and headache.

When we drink, our livers release an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which breaks down the ethanol in alcohol into a chemical called acetaldehyde (so less the alcohol enters the bloodstream).

This is then broken down into another chemical called acetate by an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH).

While acetate is usually considered harmless – and has been linked with some of the health benefits of alcohol – being exposed to the more potent acetaldehyde is what causes hangover symptoms, the researchers found.

With this in mind, the researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University, in Guangzhou, tested a range of drinks, from teas, hot herbal drinks and various fizzy drinks – and examined how they affected ADH and ALDH.

They discovered that a herbal drink made with hemp seeds actually increased the length of the ADH process and inhibited the ALDH process, so a hangover would last for longer.

But Sprite was among the drinks that sped up the ALDH process, causing the alcohol to be broken down more quickly, thereby reducing hangover duration.

‘These results are a reminder that herbal and other supplements can have pharmacological activities that both harm and benefit our health,’ Edzard Ernst, Emeritus Prodessor of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter, told Chemistry World.

Forget the herbal tea: The researchers discovered that a herbal infusion using hemp seeds actually prolonged a hangover Forget the herbal tea: The researchers discovered that a herbal infusion using hemp seeds actually prolonged a hangover

Young people – and regular drinkers – produce more of the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme, so they don’t feel the effects of alcohol as much as older people, said consultant hepatologist Dr Rajiv Jalan of University College Hospital London.

The only good news is that, with age, hangover headaches become less of a problem. The headaches are the result of alcohol damaging the brain, causing it to swell temporarily and crash against the skull.

But as we age our brains shrink, so there is more room for it to swell before it hits the bone
Read more: Daily Mail

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