Can a £1 fish supplement help with a hangover? Study finds krill oil — found in most high street health shops — can cure dreaded next-day nausea and thirst
- Korean scientists gave drinkers a pre-shot of 1000mg of antioxidant rich krill oil
- These drinkers reported lower levels of thirst and nausea over the next few hours
- The scientists say the results highlight krill oil’s potential as a cure for hangovers
Downing some krill oil before boozing could help you beat a hangover, a study suggests.
Korean scientists found people who took a 1,000mg dose of krill oil before drinking the equivalent of four pints reported significantly lower levels of dehydration and nausea, signs of a hangover, compared to those who took a placebo.
They believe the antioxidant-rich properties of krill oil — which can be be bought in many high street health shops — is behind its hangover-curing powers.
It may offer another option for Britons looking to avoid pounding headaches and dry mouth after a night of drinking.
A new pill promising to leave drinkers feeling fresh after a night on the town was sold out within hours of going on sale in the UK this week.
Korean scientists say antioxidant rich krill oil shows potential as a hangover cure in a recent experiment. Krill (pictured here) are tiny species of aquatic crustacean
Krill oil, also rich in omega 3 fats, is made from tiny shrimp like animals that live in the ocean.
It is available as a health supplement in many pharmacies and health shops in Britain, costing as little as 70p per capsule for the high strength 1000mg doses.
Hangover-busting £1 pill SELLS OUT just a day after launching
A £1 hangover-busting pill has already sold out in the UK — just a day after being launched.
Myrkl, which must be taken before you start drinking, promises to leave you feeling fresh after a heavy night out.
The supplement breaks down alcohol in the gut before it reaches the liver with the hope of getting you less drunk.
Customers desperate to get their hands on the pill were told they could only order one single box of 30 for £30.
Despite the attempts to ration Myrkl, the firm claims to have sold six months’ worth of stock within just 24 hours.
Håkan Magnusson, chief executive officer at Myrkl, said: ‘We are working as quickly as we can to ensure people can resume placing orders on the website.’
He said the firm anticipates having more which can put back on sale within the next few days. Myrkl isn’t being sold in supermarkets.
Mr Magnusson described the supplement as being a ‘game-changing product’ that will leave drinkers ‘feeling their best the next day’. It is also claimed to boost energy and immunity.
It is thought to work by interrupting how alcohol is broken down in the body, stopping it from producing acetaldehyde.
Acetaldehyde is the by product scientists theorise is partly responsible for the tell-tale hangover symptoms.
Researchers at Seoul’s Sejong University tested the effects of krill oil on 21 men and women between the age of 20 and 55.
Participants were given a shot of krill oil, a placebo or a commercially available anti-hangover drink – containing ginseng berry extract- 30 minutes before being given booze.
They were then supplied with alcoholic drinks in relation to their body weight, with men given 0.78g of alcohol per kilogram of weight and women 0.65g of alcohol per kilogram.
This roughly translates to male participants drinking about eight units of alcohol, the equivalent of four-and-a-half pints of low strength lager, and for women 5.7 units, just under three standard glasses of wine, in a single sitting.
For context, the NHS recommends adults do not drink more than 14 units of alcohol in a week.
The participants were asked to rate 10 hangover symptoms during the experiment — thirst, sleepiness, headaches, dizziness, nausea, helplessness, diarrhea, attentional disorders, susceptibleness, and depression.
They were first surveyed on their symptoms 30 minutes after the drinks were consumed, then at the one hour mark, and then every hour thereafter until five hours had passed.
Participants were asked to rate each hangover symptom on a scale of one to five, with one being almost unaffected and five being very severe.
Blood and breath tests were conducted at the same time.
Of the 21 participants who started the experiment, six withdrew after consuming the alcohol, leaving 15 on which the results were based.
The scientists did not explain the reasons for people pulling out.
Volunteers given krill oil reported significantly lower levels of nausea and thirstiness than those on a placebo.
Krill oil takers reported a score of one for nausea, whereas the placebo group had a score of 1.47 half an hour after drinking.
In terms of thirst, people who took krill oil initially reported minor levels of thirst (1.2) but this came back down to one after the three-hour mark.
In contrast, the placebo group’s thirst score peaked at 1.7 thirty minutes in and then stayed at 1.6 until the end.
The krill oil’s results for nausea and thirst were similar to the commercially available hangover cure.
However the krill oil didn’t reduce the severity of any other other hangover symptoms.
Results from the blood and breath alcohol tests showed the krill oil takers also had significantly lower levels of alcohol in their system.
Lead author, Professor Soon-Mi Shim, an expert in food science and biotechnology, said the results highlight the potential of krill oil as an anti hangover supplement.
‘The results from the current study suggest that krill oil can be used as a potential anti-hangover ingredient that reduces the breath and blood alcohol levels as well as other hangover symptoms with its antioxidant capacity,’ she said.
The team published their results in the Journal of Functional Foods.
One limitation of the study is the small number of participants.
Antioxidants are chemical compounds found in variety of foods which counteract molecules called free radicals that damage DNA, cell membranes, and other parts of cells, like those found in alcohol.
They are found in a variety of foods and have a number of claimed health benefits with one recent study, published in May, finding eating a small bowl of antioxidant-rich cranberries a day could improve memory and ward off dementia.
The latest study comes just days after a hangover cure pill was launched in the UK this week, before rapidly selling out.
Called Myrkl, the pill which must be taken before drinking, works for up to 12 hours.
It breaks down alcohol in the gut before it reaches the liver — but doesn’t stop you from getting drunk.
Trials revealed drinkers who swallowed two pills and drank two glasses of wine had 70 per cent less alcohol in their blood an hour later, compared to those who did not take it.
The supplement, which also claims to boost energy and immunity, costs £30 for a packet of 30.
However, the pill sold out six months worth of stock on its first day of sale in the UK.
DO YOU DRINK TOO MUCH ALCOHOL? THE 10 QUESTIONS THAT REVEAL YOUR RISK
One screening tool used widely by medical professionals is the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Tests). Developed in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, the 10-question test is considered to be the gold standard in helping to determine if someone has alcohol abuse problems.
The test has been reproduced here with permission from the WHO.
To complete it, answer each question and note down the corresponding score.
0-7: You are within the sensible drinking range and have a low risk of alcohol-related problems.
Over 8: Indicate harmful or hazardous drinking.
8-15: Medium level of risk. Drinking at your current level puts you at risk of developing problems with your health and life in general, such as work and relationships. Consider cutting down (see below for tips).
16-19: Higher risk of complications from alcohol. Cutting back on your own may be difficult at this level, as you may be dependent, so you may need professional help from your GP and/or a counsellor.
20 and over: Possible dependence. Your drinking is already causing you problems, and you could very well be dependent. You should definitely consider stopping gradually or at least reduce your drinking. You should seek professional help to ascertain the level of your dependence and the safest way to withdraw from alcohol.
Severe dependence may need medically assisted withdrawal, or detox, in a hospital or a specialist clinic. This is due to the likelihood of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the first 48 hours needing specialist treatment.
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