Many products available online and in pharmacies aim to make it possible to enjoy alcoholic drinks without having to suffer from hangover symptoms. The Swedish company Myrkl has recently introduced a brand new product that promises to solve all your problems. It is the pill that will eliminate the chance of having a hangover, if taken before you drink.
Are there any truths in the claims about the new product being made? There is nothing magical about it. Its effectiveness is also questioned by the study it was based on.
This product and others raise concerns because they claim that you can drink alcohol without getting hungover. Consumers will believe they can drink more alcohol since they won't experience the negative side effects.
It is important to remember that alcohol is a powerful poison that causes millions of premature deaths every year. Additionally, it can cause dependence and damage the cardiovascular, liver, and intestinal systems. In addition, it can also cause cancer in other organs.
All of these reasons make it difficult to consider that the product's message, "You can drink more without having to suffer the consequences", is healthy.
The product is advertised as an anti-hangover drug. However, it isn't. It could be considered a nutritional supplement, made up of vitamin B12, bacteria, and cysteine.
Cysteine and vitamin B12 have been proven to reduce hangovers. These supplements are advertised as helping to metabolize alcohol, but their effectiveness is questionable in young people who don't have a vitamin or an amino acid deficiency.
This isn't a new concept. You can search the names of these bacteria and find a lot of products on the market that contain them at very high prices.
These bacteria are easy to dispense in capsules and they have spores which make them very stable. This is why it is so obvious that these bacteria were chosen. These two species have been used to modify the microbiome to treat various diseases.
The liver is responsible for almost all of our food intake. It is also the most sensitive organ to drugs, toxins, and nutrients. Through a variety of enzymes, alcohol is eliminated primarily by liver cells. ADH, which is responsible for acetaldehyde production, is one of these enzymes. This product can cause many symptoms such as a hangover including an increase in temperature, heart rate, nausea, vomiting, and headaches.
This pill contains bacteria that can metabolize alcohol to CO2 or water. Therefore, it would decrease alcohol's entry into the bloodstream and reduce the production and release of acetaldehyde. Therefore, less alcohol in blood will result in a lower hangover.
The alcohol would have its effects on the gastric mucosa before it reached the intestine.
This product's scientific foundation is weak. It is based only on one study published over a month ago. The results and conclusions are very questionable. There are no similar studies linking the activity of these bacteria to hangovers, it seems.
We can draw a conclusion from this study that it isn't clear how these bacteria could reach sufficient numbers to reduce alcohol incorporation in as little as 12 hours. Participants were required to take the supplement for a week. It is obvious that a week's intake is different from a few hours before you start drinking.
The study also has a problem because the volunteers were randomly divided into two groups. One group received the placebo, the other the supplement. After that, the results were made. The ideal scenario would have been to repeat the study twice, so that all participants had received both placebo and supplement. This would have allowed us to confirm whether the supplement was more effective than the placebo in a single volunteer.
This brings me to the vast amount of data. Two graphs are presented by the researchers showing the levels of ethanol in blood and expelled air. The mean values for both placebo and supplemented are so close that it is difficult to believe that they found significant differences.
I've been able to estimate the number volunteers needed to make significant changes. It is more than 24.
It is obvious that the study was poorly designed and conducted, and that the results are not scientifically consistent or significant.
The miraculous product is made up of a combination of compounds already used to treat hangovers. However, the dubious effects of the spores from bacteria that have been sold as anti-hungover drugs are not enough to reduce alcohol incorporation.
Avoid alcohol consumption if you don't want to suffer from hangover symptoms like dehydration or the effects of Acetaldehyde in your liver. It's the only way.
This article was published in "The Conversation".