UCLA Developing a Cure for Hangovers

The days of waking up with a pounding headache after a night of drinking may be a distant memory, as a hangover cure is currently being developed by engineers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.

It has been tested on mice and was proven to work. The “cure” consists of alcohol metabolizing enzymes that reduce alcohol levels and therefore reduce the hangover effect.

Professors Yunfeng Lu and Cheng Ji started the test by intoxicating a few mice and then injecting them with nanocapsules of two enzymes. They found that those mice who received the injections became sober quicker than those who didn’t receive it.

They hope that it will prove to have the same effects on humans. Lu said it could be available to alcohol drinkers in a pill form and would contain enzymes that work together with the liver to get rid of the alcohol in the body.

“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,” Lu said.

It is currently only being tested on mice and is unfit for human consumption, but the ultimate goal is to begin testing it on humans and making it suitable for everyone to use.

Researchers also don’t know enough about how it works. Professor Martina Stenzel said they need to know more about the nanoparticles and how they affect the liver.

“It shows how powerful nanotechnology can be, but there are a lot of things we don’t know about nanoparticles long term. They talk about it protecting the liver, but it’s possible they might be there for an extended period of time and actually cause liver damage. It’s a very nice example of what nanotechnology can do for you but I wouldn’t get too excited yet,” Stenzel said.

It’s unknown when the cure will be available for widespread use, but researchers say to expect it in the next few years.



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