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Hangovers could be prevented by drinking pear juice before alcohol, scientists say

Pears can keep cholesterol down, help with constipation and work as an anti-inflammatory — as well as stopping people getting so drunk

Andrew Griffin
Monday 03 August 2015 15:57 BST
2014A worker picks pears from a tree during a harvest in an orchard in Hannut near Liege
2014A worker picks pears from a tree during a harvest in an orchard in Hannut near Liege

Drinking pear juice before starting alcohol could keep hangovers at bay and lower the blood alcohol level, according to new research.

The hangover preventative — drinking 200ml of pear juice before having alcohol, though eating the pears themselves could also work — has been found to effectively limit the effects of hangover, and lower the levels of alcohol in people’s blood.

The scientists measured the success of the hangover cure by using a scale of 14 common symptoms. That scale found that the effects of the hangover were “significantly reduced” by drinking the Korean pear juice, and that it was most effective in avoiding “trouble concentrating”.

The researchers make clear that the effects only seem to happen when the pear juice is consumed before the drinking, not after.

Researchers have only studied the Korean or Asian pear, which has long been used as a traditional hangover cure, so far. But they plan to find out whether the same results can be seen in other kinds of pear, which have a number of differences in their composition.

Scientists still aren’t sure what the pears do that make them such effective ways of avoiding hangovers.

Today is apparently the worst day for Christmas party hangovers in the UK (Rex)

“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,” professor Manny Noakes, who led the study, said in a statement. “In particular, reductions were seen in blood acetaldehyde levels, the toxic metabolic thought to be responsible for the hangover symptoms, with pear juice consumption.”

The findings were produced by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. It worked with Horticulture Innovation Australia to look at the effects of drinking pears on those that are consuming alcohol.

The fruit has also been found to “lower cholesterol, relieve constipation and have anti-inflammatory effects”.

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