Could pears be the new hangover cure?

Wednesday, 05 August, 2015

CSIRO researchers conducting a survey on the humble pear have stumbled on an unexpected find — pears can ward off hangovers!

Lead researcher Professor Manny Noakes said that Korean (or Asian) pears have long been used as a traditional remedy for alcohol hangover, and so far the science seems to back up the claims.

“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,” she said.

Professor Noakes said that overall hangover severity, as measured by a 14-item hangover symptom scale, was significantly reduced in the Korean pear group (after consumption of 220 mL of pear juice) compared to those having a placebo drink, with the most pronounced effect seen on the specific symptom of ‘trouble concentrating’.

The benefits were only reported when pear juice was consumed prior to alcohol consumption, so it’s unlikely we’ll see late-night fruit stands popping up outside bars and nightclubs.

Professor Noakes cautioned that this is only a preliminary scoping study, with the results yet to be finalised, and that further research was needed into whether the results could be replicated with other types of pears.

In the meantime, abstinence remains the only guaranteed method to avoid a hangover.

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