Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Have a hangover? Try extract from cactus, study suggests

When I am going through one of a health website, I found a good report that says the remedy for handover. see a part of the report.
An extract from the prickly pear cactus helps relieve nausea, dry mouth and appetite loss when taken ahead of time, according to a study published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The risk of severe hangovers was cut in half.

However, there was no statistically significant improvement in headache, soreness, weakness, tremulousness, diarrhea or dizziness.

Depending on their body weight, volunteers drank between five and 10 drinks of vodka, gin, rum, bourbon, scotch or tequila. Those who drank liquor containing more impurities, such as bourbon, had worse hangovers than those who drank clear booze, such as vodka, with fewer impurities.

Hangovers are believed to be caused by poor sleep, dehydration and the body's immune response to something in the alcohol, perhaps the impurities. It appears prickly pear interferes with this immune response, said lead researcher Dr. Jeff Wiese of Tulane Health Sciences Center.

The study included 64 adults aged 21 to 35. Hangover symptoms were rated on a 0-6 scale, with 6 the worst. For example, volunteers who took prickly pear rated their nausea an average of 1.0, while those who took a placebo rated it 1.8. The total score for all nine hangover symptoms was 14.9 in the placebo group and 12.2 in the prickly pear group.

The study was funded by the manufacturer of HPF Hangover Prevention Formula, an extract of the fruit of the prickly pear cactus.

Prickly pear extracts are available in some health supplement stores. The brand used in the study, HPF, is available on the internet or by calling (800) 720-2970. It costs $24.95 for 10 capsules; it takes one capsule for each 130 pounds of body weight.

Researchers acknowledged concerns that making hangovers less miserable might encourage binge drinking. However, hangovers have "never been shown to effectively deter alcohol consumption," they wrote.

And the best cure, they added, is to not drink in the first place.

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