Science Discovers Newest, Best Hangover Cure

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Also: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance

Hangovers are a lot like gunshot wounds…in that the best things you can do about them need to be done before they happen. In the case of gunshot wounds, it’s usually wearing a lot of Kevlar, being behind something big and heavy…and ducking.

In the case of hangovers, it’s all about consuming Asian pear juice before you get your binge drinking on.

Yep. Asian pear juice.

Asian Pear Juice

According to researchers at the Australian government’s scientific research organization CISRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) were researching the health benefits of Asian pears (which include lower cholesterol, constipation relief and anti-inflammatory effects) and came across the fruits amazing hangover fighting abilities.

[On a sidenote: How typical is it that the Aussies are doing to research that gives us hangover cures, while the American government’s scientific research either gives us nuclear weapons…or the average length of a muskrat’s penis? If American government-funded researchers were giving us a cornucopia of hangover cures, they’d probably come under a lot less fire when it comes out that they’ve spent a half mil to watch shrimp jog. /rant]

CSIRO has its own news site, where they interviewed the lead researcher, Professor Manny Noakes:

Are there any types of pears that work better than other? And what’s the best way to consume them?
At present, studies have only investigated the Korean (or Asian) pear, which has long been used as a traditional remedy for alcohol hangover.  A number of compositional differences have been noted between the Korean pear and Western pear varieties, so further studies are needed to confirm these findings to determine whether these results could be replicated using other pear varieties.  So far the effect has been seen from consuming 220ml Korean pear juice, although consumption of whole pears may produce a similar effect.

How exactly do the pears prevent hangovers – how did we find this out?
There may be several ways by which pears could prevent hangovers. Our review has uncovered both animal and human studies trying to answer this question. It appears that the factors in Korean pears act on the key enzymes involved in alcohol metabolism, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) to speed up alcohol metabolism and elimination or inhibition of alcohol absorption. In particular, reductions were seen in blood acetaldehyde levels, the toxic metabolic thought to be responsible for the hangover symptoms, with pear juice consumption.  

What hangover symptoms can pears prevent?
Overall hangover severity, as measured by a 14 item hangover symptom scale, was significantly reduced in the Korean pear group compared to those having a placebo drink, with the most pronounced effect seen on the specific symptom of ‘trouble concentrating’.

Can I pear-binge after drinking to cure my hangover?
NO. The effect was only demonstrated if pears were consumed before alcohol consumption. There is no evidence that you can consume pears after drinking and avoid a hangover.
And remember, the very best way to not get a hangover is to not drink in the first place.

Was that last comment really necessary? It’s like the lead researcher into what happened to Flight MH370 declaring that they know what made the plane crash and then saying “Gravity.”

Anyhow, does anyone know where on the island we can get some Asian pears?

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Science Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?