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Can dihydromyricetin relieve a hangover?

We’ve been searching for the perfect solution to hangovers since humans first learned to ferment thousands of years ago. There are many products on the market to cure hangovers, as well as a variety of home-based remedies that drinkers, and even some health proponents, promote.

The first question we need to figure out is —why do we get hangovers?

Alcohol is metabolized in the liver by the enzyme ethanol dehydrogenase. When alcohol breaks down, it forms acetaldehyde, a toxic chemical that the body must get rid of before it can do serious damage to itself.

Studies have shown that hangover symptoms peak when all the alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde. At this point, blood alcohol levels are returning to zero.

But it’s not just alcohol that causes hangovers – other compounds in alcoholic beverages, especially congeners and sulfites commonly found in darker beverages such as red wine and whiskey, also play a role in forming hangovers.

Hangover symptoms and their causes

Alcohol affects many different parts of the body, which explains why hangovers can present with a wide range of symptoms. The ones we are familiar with are:

Dehydration: alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases urination. Alcohol inhibits the release of antidiuretic hormone. The loss of water leads to slight dehydration in the body, which further induces headaches and fatigue.



alcohol image from

Headaches: Headaches are a hallmark of hangovers. One of the causes is slight dehydration, where water loss leads to slight contraction of the brain. This contraction causes the brain to be pulled away from the skull, which pulls on the nerves outside the brain, causing pain. Secondly, alcohol is a vasodilator. This means that alcohol may trigger migraine attacks in migraine-prone people.

Nausea: Alcohol irritates the mucous membrane of the stomach, leading to more stomach acid production. Both of these can lead to nausea and stomach upset.

Fatigue: celebrations usually last late into the night. Alcohol can lead to late nights, as well as sleep disruption, making it easier to feel tired and irritable the next day.

Once we understand the cause of hangovers, we need to find a solution, so

How to deal with a hangover?


Daryl Davies, a professor of clinical pharmacology at USC, has been studying dihydromyricetin (DHM), a chemical from Hovenia dulcis, which is considered an effective herb for treating and preventing hangover symptoms. Davis said, “Not only did we find tons of evidence that it works, but we also discovered the principles behind it.”

DHM speeds up the rate at which the body processes alcohol, which can counteract many of the symptoms of a hang over. Many over-the-counter hangover cure medications (agents such as vitamin pills) contain DHM; however, these medications vary in formulation and dosage, so individual experimentation may also be needed to confirm which product works best.



article from National Library of Medicine

1 part

On January 13, 2012, the Oriental Morning Post reported that researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, used Hovenia extract to develop a new drug, which was injected into rats to relieve the effects of alcohol, and could alleviate the symptoms of “headache” in a relatively short period of time.

Researchers in the observation of the effectiveness of different medicinal herbs to relieve alcohol use Hovenia extract dihydromyricetin (DHM). They first let the experimental rats ingest a certain amount of alcohol, equivalent to 15 to 20 bottles of beer, within 2 hours, the results as expected, most of the experimental rats drunk, the rest have not been drunk even if they were touched down also did not react. 1 hour, the symptoms of drunkenness began to diminish, and the rats gradually regained control of the body.

2 part

In the second part of the experiment, the researchers injected the rats with dihydromyricetin while they were ingesting alcohol, and found that the rats had greater control over their own behavior, delayed the onset of symptoms of intoxication, and regained sobriety about 15 minutes after becoming intoxicated.

Moreover, the rats injected with dihydromyricetin showed fewer signs of euphoria on two consecutive days of “drinking,” implying that dihydromyricetin has some inhibitory effect on alcohol addiction.

How does dihydromyricetin work to relieve hangovers?

1.Acetaldehyde, a metabolite of ethanol, is the main cause of dizziness and drunkenness after drinking, and it is the main substance that brings damage to the liver. Dihydromyricetin protects the liver and accelerates the rapid decomposition of acetaldehyde, a metabolite of ethanol, into a non-toxic substance and reduces the damage it does to the liver cells.

2.In addition, dihydromyricetin can improve the increase of serum lactate dehydrogenase activity caused by hepatocellular injury, inhibit the formation of collagen fibers in hepatic M-cells, so as to play the role of liver protection, greatly reduce the damage of ethanol on the liver, so that the normal state of the liver can be quickly restored.

3.Dihydromyricetin dhm can protect the liver, accelerate the rapid decomposition of ethanol metabolite acetaldehyde into non-toxic substances, reducing the damage to liver cells.


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