8.3.10

Hangovers Beware: Oxygenated Alcohol Is Your Bane.

Raise your hand if you've ever had enough alcohol to induce a hangover. Ok, the one guy who didn't raise his hand, leave the room.

Alright, now that we're all on the same page, I have a revelation. Soon, the syndrome which causes your night on the town to quickly become a spinning, nausea-laden puke-fest could be no more. Hangovers, your days are numbered. Researchers in South Korea are performing trials of a new alcohol to study its effects which, so far, combat the human body's tendency to become hung over. The substance being tested is oxygenated alcohol, which is basically the same as the fire water you're used to with oxygen bubbles added to the concoction (and it is, apparently, very popular in their native South Korea). The effect? Well, tests indicate you might not have to hug the toilet as often after a night of pretending you're sexier than you actually are.

Doctors In-hwan Baek, Byung-yo Lee, and Kwang-il Kwon from the College of Pharmacy, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, South Korea have been conducting trials on groups of people (instead of mice because, you know, mice are really boring partygoers and they crap everywhere), and the results are interesting. Using proper scientific method, the doctors studied how quickly people became sober while drinking 19.5% alcohol, half with and half without the oxygenated bubbles. The result? People's breath alcohol content dropped off significantly faster with the oxygenated alcohol. And, what's more, people reported far less hangover symptoms to boot.

Without risking an explanatory tirade of epic proportion, the basic premise behind alcohol processing in the human body is that the liver has to oxidize the substance into water and carbon dioxide in order to get rid of it. The enzymes responsible for that oxidation require oxygen to function, and it is thought that by having the oxygen dissolved into the alcohol itself, the entire process can take place more quickly and efficiently.

Tests are still ongoing and do require some bit of anecdotal evidence in terms of hangover presence or absence, but if positive results continue to be discovered, we may see fewer of the problems associated with alcohol consumption. The doctors state that not only hangovers could be reduced, but possibly alcohol related accidents as well, since people's bodies would process the alcohol more quickly and result in faster sobriety.

Only time will tell whether this is just snake oil, or whether we'll have a happier time getting sloshed. I, for one, would welcome a night of drink without fear of the demon hangover...

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