According to Cactus extract offers hangover help, an extract from the skin of the prickly pear fruit, called OFI, eases hangovers by soothing the inflammatory response to alcohol:
Hangovers, or veisalgia as the condition is called medically, carry huge economic and health consequences, say Wiese’s team. But despite this, little is known about its mechanism.
It has been associated with a heightened inflammatory response by the body to alcohol impurities called congeners and some preservatives. Extract from the skin of prickly pear fruit, called OFI, had previously been shown to dampen inflammatory response.
So Wiese’s team gave 55 adults aged between 21 and 35 years old either OFI or placebo five hours before they staged a party. The subjects were given a fast-food dinner and then allowed to choose their tipple for the evening from vodka, gin or rum, which are relatively low in impurities, or bourbon, scotch or tequila, which are relatively high.
I can’t help but note that I prefer vodka, gin, and rum to bourbon, scotch, and tequila.
The morning after the parties, those given OFI were nursing less severe hangovers than those given placebo. In particular, it slashed the risk of a severe hangover by half.
The researchers also measured levels of a protein produced by the liver, called C-reactive protein, which is thought to be involved in the inflammation process.
The higher the levels, the worse the hangover, they found. This is the first study to show this, the team believes. Levels of this protein were also 40 per cent higher in the people who took placebo pills compared with those who took the OFI.
The researchers therefore believe that OFI eases hangovers by soothing the inflammatory response to alcohol.
So how does OFI compare to aspirin?