The Science of Hangovers

hangover

[S]cientists still don’t fully understand the causes of a hangover. (They do, however, have a scientific name for them: veisalgia.)

Most scientists believe that a hangover is driven by alcohol interfering with your body’s natural balance of chemicals in a more complex way.

hangover-chart-copy

Studies have found strong correlations between high levels of cytokines—molecules that the immune system uses for signaling—and hangover symptoms.

Normally, the body might use cytokines to trigger a fever of inflammatory response to battle an infection, but it seems that excessive alcohol consumption can also provoke cytokine release, leading to symptoms like muscle aches, fatigue, headache or nausea, as well as cognitive effects like memory loss or irritation.

You should not take acetaminophen (Tylenol) because when the liver is processing alcohol, it’s especially susceptible to acetaminophen’s toxic effects.

Via Smithsonian for the full article.

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About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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