New Year’s Eve and alcohol go hand-in-hand for many, but hangovers can be a dreaded consequence from overindulgence in booze. The mechanism of action in hangovers is still not entirely clear to scientists, but it may be due to the metabolism of alcohol in the body, an immune response, or other factors. Some of the early studies on hangovers found that compounds called congeners may contribute to the effects; these compounds are more abundant in whiskey, brandy, and red wine compared to clear alcohols like vodka and white wine.
A 2000 review highlighted factors that greatly increase the risk of a hangover like drinking on an empty stomach, not getting enough sleep, not drinking enough water, and being physically active while intoxicated. Two small studies indicated that taking vitamin B6 or tolfenamic acid may lead to fewer hangover symptoms, but researchers agree on one sure-fire way to prevent a hangover – abstaining from alcohol.
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