Science

Does the hangover cure work

The Swedish company Myrkl has introduced a drug that supposedly saves from a hangover. It is already on sale in England, but does the remedy work?

Image by Hands off my tags! Michael Gaida from Pixabay

They say that the pill breaks down up to 70 percent of alcohol in 60 minutes. This means that if someone drinks 50 ml of vodka, which contains 20 ml of pure alcohol, only 6 ml of alcohol will get into the blood. It will be similar to the fact that a person will drink only 15 ml of alcohol.

This decrease in the amount of alcohol absorbed by the body is reflected in a decrease in the short-term effects of alcohol, such as euphoria and reduced anxiety. The company that produces this supplement recommends taking two tablets 1-12 hours before drinking alcohol.

The probiotic supplement contains two bacteria useful for the intestine – Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus coagulans, obtained from fermented rice bran. These bacteria naturally break down alcohol into water and carbon dioxide. The acid-resistant capsule protects bacteria from the natural acids of the stomach so that they can enter the intestines, where most of the alcohol is absorbed into the blood.

Does the hangover pill work?

The pill is intended for those who want to get rid of a hangover after drinking the day before. But can these pills really prevent a hangover? It is mainly associated with the dehydrating effect of alcohol, which can cause headaches. Direct exposure to alcohol on the stomach can also cause abdominal pain and nausea.

If less alcohol gets into the body, the risk of dehydration is less. But since the pills only work after the alcohol has passed through the stomach into the intestines, they will not be able to prevent the effect of alcohol on the stomach. The evidence that Myrkl works is based on one published study. 24 healthy young adults took either two Myrkl tablets or placebo pills every day for seven days. Then they were given a small amount of alcohol (from 50 to 90 ml of spirits) depending on their weight. Their blood alcohol levels were checked over the next two hours.

The researchers found that during the first 60 minutes, the amount of alcohol in the blood was 70 percent lower in those who received Myrkl, compared with the placebo group. Despite the fact that the study was conducted according to all the canons, it has several problems. First, the researchers reported the results to only 14 out of 24 people because ten initially had lower blood alcohol levels.

Secondly, the results varied among different people, which reduces the accuracy of the study. And thirdly, the researchers conducted tests for seven days of treatment before single alcohol consumption, but the company recommends taking only two tablets 1-12 hours before drinking alcohol in any amount.

The study also leaves many unanswered questions. Does the pill work for people who are not young or have health problems? Does it work for people with bowel or liver diseases? Are there any differences in the effect of the pill between men and women? What happens when food and alcohol are taken together? Do medications change the effect of pills? In general, it is better not to test a new drug on yourself yet — we will wait for more detailed studies.


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