Feb 192002
Authors: Adam Gibbs

What if you could drink as many alcoholic beverages as you wanted and not be hung over the next day? The new “hangover pills” are claiming to do just that.

With advertisements in magazines, newspapers and on radio stations, these hangover pills are becoming more and more popular.

Hangover Helper is one of the many new products that claim to stop a hangover before it starts.

“Just take two tablets after your last drink and then two tablets the next morning, then you’ll actually make it to class or that 8 a.m. meeting with no worries and no suffering,” says the Hangover Helper radio advertisement.

Hangover Helper’s ingredients include glutathione, American ginseng, kuduzu root, milk thistle, white willow bark, potassium, magnesium, ascorbic acid, niacin, thiamine and selenium.

According to Hangover Helper, alcohol is metabolized into a toxic substance called acetaldehyde. While the body is metabolizing alcohol, acetaldehyde levels increase, causing painful hangover symptoms.

One of the main ingredients for Hangover Helper is glutathione, a helper substance in the body which breaks down acetaldehyde. Glutathione levels are quickly depleted during alcohol consumption. The goal of this ingredient is to get the glutathione levels back up to help break down toxic acetaldehyde. Each bottle of Hangover Helper contains 28 tablets and costs $19.95 per bottle.

Opinions differ on if the pills really work.

Jenelle Waldron said she heard a radio advertisement for the pills on KTCL and called the number to order them. She spent $36 for 40 pills.

Waldron and her friends tried them out on her 22nd birthday weekend, which consisted of three nights of partying.

Waldron took the first two pills after the first hour of drinking, and then two every four hours or every six drinks thereafter, as the instructions indicated. Waldron was pleased with the initial results.

“I get way bad hangovers,” Waldron said. “We did a whole weekend of hard-core partying. There weren’t any (hangover symptoms). I was up and feeling completely fine and ready to go,” she said.

Some of Waldron’s friends thought the pills worked, and some didn’t, Waldron said. Neither Waldron nor her friends experienced any adverse side effects.

After the success of the first bottle of pills, which lasted a week, Waldron purchased another bottle. This time the results were disappointing.

“I believe they do work, but I don’t know if your body becomes immune to it or not,” Waldron said.

The mixed results reported by Waldron might make sense, one doctor said.

“I think that this stuff probably isn’t going to work. These supplements may have therapeutic action, but you’d have to take a whole bunch of them to see results. Although they are tested in laboratories, what happens in the human body is different than in the laboratory,” said Dr. R. Scott Hammond.

All of the different hangover pill products including other popular brands Chaser and Sob’r-K, are available to purchase through company phone numbers or online through Web sites.

Regardless of the true effectiveness of the new remedies, it seems their popularity has taken off.

Hangover Helper can be purchased at General Nutrition Center (GNC), but both stores in the Fort Collins area are currently sold out of the product. n

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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