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Oct 08, 2013 06:15 AM EDT

Sprite Cures Hangover? So Say Chinese Scientists

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Sprite is one of the best options to get over a hangover, according to a study conducted by Chinese researchers.

The researchers said that depending upon what a person drinks following the consumption of alcohol beverages, can effectively reduce the effects of alcohol on an individual's body. And it seems that Sprite has the ability to bring down the effects of hangover.

Researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou arrived at the conclusion after initially studying the metabolic processes that a body experiences after drinking alcohol.

They found that the ethanol in alcoholic drinks gets metabolized by an enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), into acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is believed to be the real cause of alcohol-related effects, including hangovers. Acetaldehyde is then metabolized into acetate by the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Contrary to acetaldehyde, the researchers said that acetate is harmless and could be responsible for some of alcohol's health benefits.

Therefore, in order to reduce alcohol-related damages, the amount of time acetaldehyde is present in the body needs to be minimized, reports RSC.

After familiarizing with the metabolic processes, the researchers then tested 57 different drinks, including herbal infusions, teas, and carbonated beverages, which modify the activities of ADH and ALDH, and eventually change the duration of acetaldehyde exposure. Plus, they studied the drinks' effects on ADH and ALDH.

They found that huo ma ren seeds, also known as hemp seeds, increased the ADH process (accelerating the metabolism of ethanol into toxic acetaldehyde) and hindered the ALDH process (reducing acetaldehyde removal). As a result, the negative effects of drinking are persistent for a longer period of time than usual. If a person consumes hemps seeds or drinks containing these seed soon after drinking alcohol, the individual risks a longer hangover.

On the other hand, carbonated drink Sprite, known as Xue bi, increased the ALDH process, causing a rapid break down of acetaldehyde and thereby minimizing the duration of alcohol-related effects on the body.

"These results are a reminder that herbal and other supplements can have pharmacological activities that both harm and benefit our health," Edzard Ernst, an expert in medicinal science at the University of Exeter in the U.K., said, according to Medical Daily.

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