No one really knows how to cure a hangover, ah new review of scientific studies have discovered. The review found little good evidence for any particular hangover cure that exists studies are generally of poor quality.
The review was conducted by researchers in the UK with the support of the National Institutes of Health Research (NIHR), the largest public funder of clinical research. The team reviewed 21 different clinical trials testing different alleged hangover medications. These include curcumin (the primary ingredient that gives turmeric a bright yellow color), red ginseng, NSAID painkillers such as loxoprofen, probiotics, artichoke extract, pear juice and supplement n-acetyl-l-cystones (NAC), among others.
Most studies have found no benefit for The team found hangover symptoms from these treatments. Even for those who found a statistically significant effect on some symptoms, the researchers were not too impressed with the quality of the data collected. None of the studies dealt with the same hangover cure, nor have some results been independently replicated by other researchers, which is needed to confirm whether something in medicine works the way it is advertised.
The team also noticed some striking flaws in many hangover treatment experiments. Eight studies, for example, completely excluded women. The studios also had very different designs from each other, which it can do it is difficult to compare the results. Some included food, others did not, and several different types of alcohol were used to get people drunk. Other Common hangover medications, such as acetaminophen or aspirin, have apparently never been studied in randomized and controlled studies.
The the findings were published in the journal Addiction.
“We have a limited number of poor research studies examining hangover treatments,” lead author Emmert Roberts, a clinical researcher at the National Center for Addiction at King’s College London, told Gizmodou in an email.
Of the various drugs they studied, three appeared to be promising compared to placebo. These were clove extract, tolfenamic acid (an NSAID painkiller available in the UK) and pyritinol (an analog from citamin B6). These treatments will most likely justify a rigorous clinical trial, Roberts said. IIn fact, all future studies should use more universal and validated standards, including one to measure hangover symptoms. They also need to be pre-registered, relatively large and more representative of the population, including women.
FOr now, however, there is only one clear way to avoid a hangover. “The surest way to avoid hangover symptoms is to drink in moderation or abstain from alcohol,” Roberts said. “However, Very low quality evidence suggests that clove extract, tolfenamic acid and pyritinol have the strongest evidence to reduce overall hangover symptoms compared to placebo, and everything seemed safe. ”
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