Pears: A hangover cure you can really get your teeth into
A HUMBLE backyard fruit could have something millions are searching for - the elusive hangover cure.
Scientists from the CSIRO have been working with Horticulture Innovation Australia to look into the health benefits of Asian pears, and it seems these little fruits can do quite a lot for you.
On its blog, the CSIRO says the research has already shown the pears can lower cholesterol, relieve constipation and have anti-inflammatory effects.
But they also ward off hangovers and lower blood alcohol levels.
CSIRO lead researcher, Professor Manny Noakes, said studies have only investigated the Korean (or Asian) pear.
"It has long been used as a traditional remedy for alcohol hangover," she said.
"So far the effect has been seen from consuming 220ml Korean pear juice, although consumption of whole pears may produce a similar effect.
"There may be several ways by which pears could prevent hangovers.
"It appears that the factors in Korean pears act on the key enzymes involved in alcohol metabolism, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) to speed up alcohol metabolism and elimination or inhibition of alcohol absorption.
"In particular, reductions were seen in blood acetaldehyde levels, the toxic metabolic thought to be responsible for the hangover symptoms, with pear juice consumption."
Professor Noakes said overall hangover severity was "significantly reduced" in the Korean pear group compared to those having a placebo drink.
But she warned that "pear binges" after drinking would not "cure" hangovers.
"The effect was only demonstrated if pears were consumed before alcohol consumption," she said.
"There is no evidence that you can consume pears after drinking and avoid a hangover."
The study results are still to be finalised.