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UCLA develops 'hangover pill'

March 4, 2013 at 5:34 PM

LOS ANGELES, March 4 (UPI) -- U.S. engineers say they identified a method for speeding up the body's reaction to the consumption of alcohol or a "hangover pill."

Yunfeng Lu, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, and colleagues said they successfully placed two complementary enzymes in a tiny capsule to speed up the elimination of alcohol from the body.

The enzyme combination within the capsule essentially processes alcohol the way the liver does, Lu said.

Lu said the enzyme combination could be ingested as a pill -- chemically altering alcohol in the digestive system -- even as the liver does its work, Lu said.

"The pill acts in a way extremely similar to the way your liver does," Lu said in a statement. "With further research, this discovery could be used as a preventative measure or antidote for alcohol intoxication."

The study, published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, found blood alcohol levels in mice that received the enzyme package fell more quickly than in mice that did not. Blood alcohol levels of the antidote test group were 15.8 percent lower than the control group after 45 minutes, 26 percent lower after 90 minutes and 34.7 percent lower after 3 hours.

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