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Scientists have made a breakthrough in the quest to combat hangovers

Swiss researchers have developed a novel gel out of milk protein able to reduce blood alcohol levels in mice
  • It works by effectively shifting the breakdown of alcohol from the liver to the digestive tract

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PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 29 May 2024, 8:04 am

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Swiss scientists have created a gel capable of breaking down alcohol in the gut and reducing intoxication – a potentially novel way of preventing hangovers, the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur and other news outlets report.

The gel, made of milk protein and yet to be trialled on humans, has shown promising effects on mice. It works by converting alcohol into harmless acetic acid before it enters the bloodstream and intoxicates the drinker.

Raffaele Mezzenga, a researcher involved in the study conducted by the Zurich university Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, said the gel effectively shifted the breakdown of alcohol from the liver to the digestive tract. 

[See more: Next-level mocktails: Where to find alcohol-free cocktails in Macao]

“In contrast to when alcohol is metabolised in the liver, no harmful acetaldehyde is produced as an intermediate product,” he said. Acetaldehyde is responsible for most of alcohol’s detrimental effects.

In mice, the gel reduced the blood alcohol level by 40 percent when compared with a control group after 30 minutes of consuming alcohol. It also “greatly reduced” stress reactions in the livers of the mice, according to the research.

The gel would not help with alcohol that had already entered the bloodstream, the study noted. As such, it “could be of particular interest to people who don’t want to give up alcohol completely, but don’t want to put a strain on their bodies and aren’t actively seeking the effects of alcohol,” Mezzenga said.

UPDATED: 29 May 2024, 8:04 am

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