Has biotechnology finally created a cure for hangovers?

Electrolytes, aspirin and bananas may soon be replaced by scientific solutions that solve the problem of hangovers at the source. A father-daughter team in India is tackling binge drinking with their own concoction.

An evening spent at an elegant wine tasting or a night of football with beers usually exacts a high price the next day. Unfortunately, for most of us, working off a hangover or living an alcohol-free social life is very often a New Year’s resolution that is forgotten by this time of the year.

While a lot of home remedies involving bananas, coconut water and different forms of protein have been floating around, now there seem to be a few over-the counter options to tackle this problem such as PartySafe and Blowfish (which is FDA approved). Unfortunately, many of these are basically a combination of multivitamins, caffeine and drugs, such as aspirin, to tackle the effects of dehydration. Some of them even negatively affect the liver when taken with alcohol over a sustained period of time.

What Causes a Hangover?

But how exactly do hangovers come about?

Alcohol is a toxic molecule that affects our nervous system and the metabolism of alcohol in the human body takes place in two stages. An enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which occurs naturally in the liver and stomach, processes the alcohol and converts it to acetaldehyde, an even more toxic substance. Acetaldehyde is then converted by another enzyme, aldehyde dehydrogenase, into acetate, which can be safely metabolized by the human body.

In the long run, damage to the liver may be caused by the toxicity of metabolic byproducts as well as by inflammation induced by these. In the short term, however, the buildup of acetaldehyde gives rise to what we know as a hangover.

As such, the ADH enzyme needs to be reactivated to speed up the process of eliminating the toxins effectively.

A Simple New Biotech Solution for Hangovers

The father-daughter duo who created a natural cure for hangovers
The father-daughter duo who created a natural cure for hangovers

But there’s hope: Bharat and Mitali Tandon, founders of Morning Fresh, have come up with a solution to the dreaded hangover using biotechnology – a final, non-alcoholic drink that is taken after your last booze to ensure your next day is a smooth and productive one.

“As binge drinking is on the rise, there is a proliferation of bars and restaurants in the city, and youngsters are increasingly leading a fast-paced life,” said Mitali, explaining that Morning Fresh was developed to help relieve the nasty effects of alcohol consumption.

The Science Behind the Solution

Here’s how Morning Fresh works. “The role of Morning Fresh is to support faster regeneration of ADH,” Mitali explained. “Our parent company, Sericare, (is a) pioneer in the field of sericulture and using silk as a biomaterial. Our research found that certain amino acids in the silk protein resembled a particular naturally occurring liver enzyme and helps to stimulate it.”

Our active ingredient, stimulates the production of ADH in the liver and thereby helps in the metabolizing of alcohol in the body.

Morning Fresh's Mitali at the lab
Morning Fresh’s Mitali at the lab

It took two years to finalize the formula for the product, which comes in flavors such as Mint, Strawberry and Cola. The 60-milliliter (2-ounce) formulation contains silk protein, mulberry extract and vitamin C that work on increasing ADH activity and decreasing blood alcohol level.

Mitali added that while the product has only been in the market for four months, the company has already sold over 5,000 bottles, which have been ordered for weddings, parties and corporate events.

When asked if the drink can be taken safely each night as a detoxifier even without the consumption of alcohol, Mitali said: “There is no harm for a non-drinker to consume Morning Fresh, as it contains vitamins and antioxidants that help boost liver health. However, it is the most effective and the best results are seen in a person who has consumed alcohol, as the active ingredient helps complete the oxidation process and rapidly increases the metabolization of alcohol in the bloodstream.”



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