Hangovers. We’ve all had them and the internet is full of DIY-fixes that usually don’t work.
But thanks to science, and one scientist, in particular, a pill to cure hangovers might be hitting the market soon.
To understand how a hangover pill might work, let’s first explore the science behind hangovers themselves. As enjoyable as a night out drinking can be, consuming too much alcohol has all kinds of strange effects on the body. Alcohol causes a person to produce more urine, which in turn leads to dehydration. So that headache you wake up with following a night of drinking and that unquenchable thirst is caused by the lack of water in your body. Alcohol can also trigger inflammatory responses in your immune system, irritate your stomach lining, and cause a drop in blood sugar. And if you’re really unlucky, you might be one of the many people with a genetic variation that makes metabolizing alcohol even more difficult.
So, to recap: alcohol is fun but too much is bad for you.
Of course, all of this doesn’t stop most of us from imbibing in a little liquid courage. Science knows this, which is why a genius at UCLA has been testing a hangover pill to help those poor souls who party too hard recover the next morning.
Yunfeng Lu, a chemical engineering professor at UCLA, likes fixing problems and loves wine which is why he’s been testing a new drug to cure hangovers and he’s had some promising results so far.
The pill is made up of enzymes found naturally in liver cells that help the body process alcohol faster, so it basically works like a kind of booster shot for your liver. Lu’s been testing the drug in a laboratory setting, getting mice drunk, and then testing the pill to see how well it cures symptoms of hangovers. Lu found that mice who had taken the drug had a 45 percent decrease in blood alcohol levels in just four hours compared to mice who weren’t treated.
Lu’s experiment is still in its early phases with scientists testing to make sure that there aren’t any negative side effects, but, should all go well, human trials will begin in a year or less. While this is good news for all of the college kids looking for a way to recuperate after a night on the town, Lu hopes that the pill can also be used to help hospitals treat severe cases of alcohol poisoning.