02 January 2014

Welcome to 2014! Let's Learn About Hangovers, Shall We?

Smithsonian.com published a fairly timely story about the science of hangovers, scientifically called veisalgia.

Hangovers are a result of a number of factors:

1. Dehydration
2. Alcohol messes up your electrolytes
3. Your body converts alcohol to acetaldehyde, which is more toxic than alcohol
4. Alcohol messes with your immune system

Then it lists some traditional hangover cures (migas are strangely absent):
. . .you can cure a hangover by eating shrimp (Mexico), pickled herring (Germany), pickled plums (Japan) or drinking coffee (U.S.), strong green tea (China) or tripe soup (Romania). A number of popular foods and beverages—like the Bloody Mary, Eggs Benedict and even Coca-Cola—were even developed specifically to “cure” hangovers.
But do NOT take acetaminophen (Tylenol). It is toxic, and when the liver is hard at work breaking your alcohol into  acetaldehyde, it becomes susceptible to acetaminophen.

Apparently, synthehol is on the horizon.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:00

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