Scientists say avoiding hangovers could come down to pre-"pear"-ation
There's a seemingly endless variety of traditional hangover cures, but researchers atAustralia's CSIRO now claim to have uncovered one that actually works.Thankfully it's not dried bull penis or even a raw egg, but something far morepalatable – the juice of the humble Korean (or Asian) pear.
While working with Horticulture InnovationAustralia to reveal some hidden benefits of the fruit, a CSIRO research teamled by Professor Manny Noakes found that pears can lower cholesterol, relieveconstipation and have anti-inflammatory effects.
But likely the most interesting discoveryfor those with a tendency to overindulge was the discovery that Korean pear juice canprevent hangovers as well as lower blood alcohol levels. Further research isneeded to determine whether the hangover-preventing capabilities extend toother pear varieties as the studies have so far only involved the Korean pear, whichis known to have a number of compositional differences to Western pearvarieties.
With study subjects measuring hangoverseverity using a 14-item hangover symptom scale, those given 220 ml (7.4 oz) ofKorean pear juice reported reduced overall hangover symptoms compared to thosein the placebo group, with the most pronounced improvement reported in the area of"trouble concentrating."
Importantly, the hangover was only avoidedif the pear juice was consumed before the alcohol, so downing the juice aftera big night out won't help. And although the study involved pear juice, theresearchers believe consuming whole pears would produce similar effects.
While the mechanism responsible isn't completelyunderstood, the researchers say that factors in Korean pears have an effect onkey enzymes, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH),which accelerate the metabolism of alcohol and inhibit its absorption inthe body. Specifically, blood acetaldehyde levels, which is the toxic metabolicthought to be responsible for hangover symptoms, were reduced after consumingpear juice.
Prof. Noakes admits the results are yet tobe finalized as this was only a preliminary scoping study. However, she saysthe team plans to deliver a comprehensive review of the scientific literatureregarding pears, pear components and relevant health measures in the future.
Of course, it goes without saying that the best way to avoid a hangoveris to not overindulge in the first place.