Anti-hangover pill Eezup doesn't work
And another anti-hangover supplement bites the dust. German forensic researcher Cora Wunder did a small study and concluded that the German product Eezup! does not live up to the manufacturer's promises.
Eezup! has been available in Europe since 2013. It consists of granules that the manufacturer packages in sticks. Each stick contains 4 g of granules and you take a sachet stirred into a large glass of water before embarking on a bout of serious drinking. You do the same again once the party's over.
So in total you take 8 g of the granules. According to the label, that amount contains 4.6 mg vitamin B1, 6.7 mg vitamin B2, 7.5 mg vitamin B6, 20 mg zinc, 22.5 mg vitamin E, 390 mg vitamin C, 1500 mg rice protein, 5200 mg fructose and - here it comes - 200 units of alcohol dehydrogenase and 500 units of catalase.
Alcohol dehydrogenase converts alcohol into acetaldehyde. That's the first step in breaking down alcohol. In an alternative first breakdown step, which as far as we know is not very important, catalase plays a role.
Wunder got 17 participants to drink beer on two different occasions until they had 1 per mille (part per thousand) alcohol in their blood. On one occasion they were given Eezup! and on the other a placebo.
Eezup! had no effect on the alcohol's disappearance from participants' blood.
Bit of a moan
We don't understand the formula that Eezup! is based on. The manufacturers wanted to make a product that protects against hangovers. But hangovers are not caused by alcohol. They are caused by acetaldehyde, the substance that is formed when alcohol dehydrogenase starts to break down alcohol. An anti-hangover formula needs to be aimed at speeding up the breakdown of hangover-inducing acetaldehyde into innocuous acetic acid.
And the enzyme that's responsible for that is not alcohol dehydrogenase, but aldehyde dehydrogenase.
Forensic Sci Int. 2017 Jun 28;278:101-5.
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