• The Financial District


Researchers at the University of Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland have completed a study which found that the amino acid L-cysteine can reduce the effect of hangover symptoms such as nausea, headaches and anxiety caused by alcohol consumption, the Finnish news agency Yle reported on Saturday, August 22, 2020. 

During the research sessions, the study’s participants gathered in the convention room of a hotel on Friday nights to drink a mixed punch of cranberry juice and the traditional Finnish spirit Koskenkorva over the course of three hours, with each drink containing an alcohol volume of about 10 percent. The alcohol was served to the subjects at a rate of 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight. In practice, this means that a participant weighing 75 kilograms would consume nine servings of the alcoholic mixed drink. "There were clearly intoxicated people, but no-one was falling down drunk," University of Helsinki researcher Markus Metsälä recalls. 

In addition to drinking, the subjects were also asked to ingest either a placebo, a 600mg L-cysteine tablet, or a 1,200 mg L-cysteine tablet, but were not told which pill they had received. Each session ended at 10:30 pm, after which the subjects were asked to rest in their hotel room. The research session continued the following morning with a self-assessment questionnaire of each participant’s state of mind between 8 am and 9 am, asking if the subjects were experiencing headaches, nausea, stress, or anxiety. 

The results of the study found that the 1,200 mg dose of amino acid L-cysteine helped to reduce alcohol-related nausea and headache, while the 600 mg tablet helped to ease stress and anxiety. The tablets also reduced participants’ desire to consume alcohol again the following day, the study found, which the researchers say may help to curb alcohol addiction.

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