• Mon, Feb 18 2013

Magic Hangover Pill On The Horizon? Researchers Find Enzyme That Could Help Liver Process Alcohol

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Researchers have developed a combination of enzymes that can help the liver process alcohol. It’s about damn time, science! Please let this magic pill be widely available before I’m out of my 20s.

If you, like me, have ever wished for a magical pill that could cure or prevent your hangover, this pill just might be it. Developed by researchers at UCLA, a tiny capsule made up of two complementary enzymes seems to be able to speed up the elimination of alcohol from the body. It works in tandem with the liver. Yunfeng Lu, the principal researcher, said:

The pill acts in a way extremely similar to the way your liver does. With further research, this discovery could be used as a preventative measure or antidote for alcohol intoxication.

According to Phys.org,

Lu’s group assembled multiple enzymes to mimic the natural process. An enzyme known as an alcohol oxidase, for example, can promote the oxidization of alcohol but also produces hydrogen peroxide, which is toxic. Another type of enzyme, a catalase, prompts the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. Placing the two enzymes next to each other can effectively remove alcohol.

 

Tested in mice, researchers found that the group of mice that received the enzyme package had blood alcohol levels that were 15.8 percent lower than the control group after 45 minutes, 26.1 percent lower after 90 minutes and 34.7 percent lower after three hours.

There doesn’t seem to be any further information as to whether this enzyme could be taken before, after or during alcohol consumption, or if researchers have any plans to test it and develop it for human use. But as a person who likes her wine as much as she likes her (hypothetical) productive morning-afters, I’m really hoping this important scientific development can move forward.

 Photo: Shutterstock

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