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Health Fusion: Do hangover cures really work?

Hangovers after a night of overindulgence are no fun. Even worse — many hangover cures may not work. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams shares info from a study that exposes a lack of scientific evidence behind hangover remedies.

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ROCHESTER — A quick online search about how to get rid of hangovers reveals an abundance of potential cures. But researchers of a new review published in the journal Addiction found that the evidence behind many substances said to help hangover symptoms is low quality.

And the researchers call for better scientific exploration of these cures so people can have accurate, evidence-based information to help them make decisions.

For the review, a team of researchers from King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust checked out 21 placebo-controlled randomized trials of clove extract, red ginseng, Korean pear juice, and other hangover cures. Some did showed improvements in hangover symptoms. But the team says the evidence was low quality because of issues such as imprecise measurements.

“Hangover symptoms can cause significant distress and affect people’s employment and academic performance," says Dr. Emmert Roberts, the lead author of the study. "Given the continuing speculation in the media as to which hangover remedies work or not, the question around the effectiveness of substances that claim to treat or prevent a hangover appears to be one with considerable public interest. Our study has found that evidence on these hangover remedies is of very low quality and there is a need to provide more rigorous assessment. For now, the surest way of preventing hangover symptoms is to abstain from alcohol or drink in moderation.”
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