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Researchers in Finland might have uncovered something for which drunks and partygoers worldwide have waited centuries: a way to cure hangovers, according to a recent study published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.
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'Cure' for hangovers saw success on drunk Finnish subjects
The scientists found a 1,200-milligram dose of acid L-cysteine reduced alcohol-related nausea and headaches associated with the common hangover. Additionally, a 600-milligram dose helped relieve stress and anxiety, according to researchers from the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Helsinki, who wrote the study.
This randomized, double-blind study included 19 healthy male volunteers who consumed alcohol at a volume of 0.05 oz (1.5 grams) per 2.2 lbs (1 kg) over the course of three hours within a controlled environment. The test subjects then swallowed either a placebo or L-cysteine tablets consisting of vitamin supplements.
While reducing or even completely curing hangovers, L-cysteine can also "reduce the need of drinking the next day," killing the "hair-of-the-dog" urges and arguably lowering the risk of alcohol addiction, said the scientists.
Finnish study could help alcoholics recover without drinking
In Finland, binge drinking is common — more than half a million Finns are at risk from excessive drinking, reports Bloomberg.
The researchers behind this study were funded via Catapult Cat Oy, a seller of L-cysteine supplements.
Of course, the Finnish study encountered obstacles. Some participants couldn't drink all the alcohol needed for the trial and had to be cut out of the tests. By contrast, some had such a high tolerance for alcohol that they didn't even feel a hangover, while others were sidelined because they decided to top up their initial dose at the local bar, said Markus Metsala, Bloomberg reports.
While not every hangover is the same, it seems science is beginning to catch up to human vices — curing hangovers with a small dose of L-cysteine. Naturally, this doesn't mean the body isn't damaged or worn down from excessive drinking — nor would we recommend showing up to work after an all-nighter. But a cure to hangovers could help countless people around the world learn to confront alcoholic habits without the pains and stress of hangovers.