How to cure a hangover: Scientists think pears hold the answer

Sarah Spickernell
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Western pears might not have the same impact (Source: Getty)
It routinely ruins the weekends of thousands of Londoners - but despite advances in medicine, there's still nothing to be done but spend the day feeling terrible and letting time work its magic.
Until now, that is - after scientists in Australia claimed they've found the answer to our hangover woes. It comes in the form of the simple pear.
A team at CSIRO, the national science body in Australia, experimented with the effects of Korean pear juice on hangover severity in volunteers, and found that those who had the drink reported fewer symptoms than those who had a placebo.
They haven't fully completed the experiment yet, but at this stage they are pretty sure the effect is the result of enzymes – Korean pears appear to alter the activity of alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase, which are fundamental for breaking down alcohol as quickly as possible.
It all sounds great, but for it to work the drinker will have to do some advance planning, since necking back a glass of pear juice after drinking too much alcohol won't make a difference to how you feel the next day. The researchers only noticed a difference in how the volunteers felt if they drank pear juice before having alcohol.
“The effect was only demonstrated if pears were consumed before alcohol consumption,” said Manny Noakes, lead researcher.
There is no evidence that you can consume pears after drinking and avoid a hangover. And remember, the very best way to not get a hangover is to not drink in the first place.
The effect is also dependent on the origins of the fruit – not just any pear will do. In the experiment, they looked at Korean pears, which are known to have a lot of differences compared to western pears. This means buying a standard bottle of pear juice from a UK supermarket won't stop a hangover. Further research is needed to determine if all pears have the same effect.

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