Individuals who took a dietary supplement containing extracts of Opuntia ficus indica, a type of prickly pear cactus, before consuming alcohol, had reduced symptoms of alcohol hangover compared to individuals who drank but took placebo, according to an article in the June 28 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Alcohol hangovers cause substantial economic and health consequences, the article states. The severity of alcohol hangovers may be related to inflammation caused by impurities in alcoholic beverages and byproducts of alcohol metabolism. C-reactive protein, a protein produced by the liver, becomes elevated after injury or trauma and is thought to be involved in inflammation and alcohol hangovers. An extract from the skin of the prickly pear fruit, Opuntia ficus indica (OFI) has been shown to reduce inflammation, the article states.
Jeff Wiese, M.D., of Tulane University, New Orleans, and colleagues investigated the effect of OFI on the symptoms of alcohol hangover.
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