Preventing a hangover: does a dietary supplement help?
For thousands of years, people have searched for a cure when they need to prevent hangovers. However, around 9000 years ago, after the invention of agriculture, they began to store additional food at this point too. They were able to start a fermentation process from old fruits and then ferment alcohol from them. Now researchers from Finland claim they found a hangover cure that involves a certain type of amino acid.
Can you prevent hangovers?
The research had a limited number of participants and was paid for by a company that makes dietary supplements and amino acid supplements. However, experts cast a dubious eye on this new study. However, they found that the results offered some potential benefits. There are other treatments available that could help reduce the distress after a night of excessive drinking. Of course, the researchers also mentioned that people can prevent hangovers by watching the amount of alcohol they drink.
The latest study was published by scientists from the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Helsinki. According to them, the amino acid L-cysteine is the key to improving hungover conditions. L-cysteine could therefore prevent hangovers and relieve nausea, headaches, stress and anxiety. In the case of hangover nausea and headaches, positive results were seen with an L-cysteine dose of 1200 mg and with stress and anxiety already with a dose of 600 mg. In addition, L-cysteine reduces symptoms after excessive alcohol consumption the next day. Overall, these effects of L-cysteine are unique. This seems to have a future in preventing or alleviating the harmful symptoms. It also reduces the risk of alcohol addiction.
If this sounds too good to be true, here are the caveats mentioned earlier. The study included only 19 participants who were willing to drink 1.5 grams per kilogram of alcohol within 3 hours and then take either a dummy drug or an L-cysteine tablet. According to the researchers, a larger sample was not possible because many subjects were unable to consume the required amount of alcohol within the given time.
How does amino acid work in the body?
Cysteine is one of the few sulfur-containing amino acids. This allows them to bind in a special way and maintain the protein structure in the body. This is an antioxidant compound component of glutathione. Cysteine is also used by the body to make taurine. This is another amino acid. Taurine is believed to have a wide variety of health benefits. For this reason, it is often found in energy drinks. While this research did not and may never find a magic bullet for hangover, while the immune system and metabolism are the biggest factors. However, hangover is also affected by smoking, sleep, diet, and age, and no product can do anything about that. So the only way to cure a hangover is to avoid overdoing it.
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