You'll never guess science's new best hangover cure

Technically Incorrect: A new study declares a fruity remedy for the alcohol-induced headache. It might not be one you'd imagine.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

I'm told that when one drinks too much, one can experience difficulty feeling anything other than pain in one's head the following morning.

This is termed a hangover, though I understand it hangs far less than it drills, throbs and debilitates.

Many are the remedies that have been tried to alleviate this discomfort. In ancient Egypt, for example, they papered over the pain. Yes, they put papyrus on their heads.

Could a glass of juice before a boozy night translate into hangover relief? Marianna Masse/Getty Images

But we can't believe anything unless science issues an encyclical, or at least a big dictum.

My head therefore leaps heavenward after learning that Australia's national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, has declared a potential hangover cure to end all hangover cures. Or at least to end the worst elements of hangovers.

The elixir is pear juice.

In describing its research, the CSIRO says it's been investigating pears for some time. It's decided that pear juice can not only prevent hangovers -- as long as you drink it before hitting the ouzo -- but that it also is lower in cholesterol, a fine cure for constipation and generally anti-inflammatory.

Professor Manny Noakes, who led this work, said that the only pear juice they'd examined came from the Korean (or Asian) pear.

She said: "It appears that the factors in Korean pears act on the key enzymes involved in alcohol metabolism, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) to speed up alcohol metabolism and elimination or inhibition of alcohol absorption. In particular, reductions were seen in blood acetaldehyde levels, the toxic metabolic thought to be responsible for the hangover symptoms, with pear juice consumption."

Noakes did say that this was just preliminary work and that she needed to get a lot more people drunk in order to validate her discoveries. (She didn't actually phrase things quite like that.)

How lovely it would be, though, if the recommended 220ml of pear juice before a boozy night could translate into hangover relief.

Oh, what am I saying? The best way to eradicate a hangover is not to drink 14 glasses of pinot noir followed by a rum and coke chaser, a banana daiquiri and then eating some liqueur cherry chocolates.

The thing is, science can't stop you doing demented things. It can only help you recover from them.