Scientists discover an unexpected natural hangover cure that actually works

Don’t be that guy.
Don’t be that guy.
Image: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach
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There is no shortage of alleged hangover cures, but now science is actually backing one up.

Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (“CSIRO”), announced last month on its blog that in its research with Horticulture Innovation Australia, it made an unlikely discovery. Pears, in addition to lowering cholesterol, relieving constipation, and reducing inflammation, can also lower alcohol levels, preventing hangovers before they even start.

If consumed in advance of the alcohol, pears, and specifically Korean pear juice, the researchers say, “significantly reduced” hangover symptoms compared to a placebo drink. The biggest impact was seen in the subjects’ ability to concentrate, says Professor Manny Noakes, the project’s lead researcher.

It works, Noakes explained, because the pears affect the enzymes involved in alcohol metabolism, helping the body metabolize and eliminate alcohol or even inhibit its absorption. “In particular, reductions were seen in blood acetaldehyde levels, the toxic metabolic thought to be responsible for hangover symptoms,” says Noakes.

However, CSIRO says, these were just preliminary studies and a comprehensive review of the scientific literature on the topic is still forthcoming. But in the meantime, no harm in trying this one out.