If you’ve ever woken up with a pounding headache, nausea, and dizziness after having a cocktail (or two) too many the night before – you may feel like you’re dying!
Of course, you also know that the symptoms of a hangover will soon pass…and by the end of the day, you’ll feel like yourself again.
But according to the FDA, if you are hungover, you don’t just feel sick. You have a disease…
I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
Earlier this year, in their never-ending efforts to stop supplement makers from offering safe, natural, and tested solutions, the Federal government labeled the dreaded “morning after” a disease.
And, of course, in their eyes, only a Big Pharma drug can cure a disease.
Their goal was to ban the sale of the antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC).
As a regular reader, you know this powerful amino acid:
➤ Boosts brain health in Alzheimer’s patients1
➤ Eases symptoms of Parkinson’s disease2
➤ Stabilizes blood sugar by improving insulin resistance3
➤ Elevates telomerase to lengthen telomeres4
➤ Improves mental health conditions5
➤ Relieves COPD symptoms and helps prevent lung decline6
But it also helps to reduce hangover symptoms.
You see, NAC binds to a super toxin in your liver called acetaldehyde. This byproduct of alcohol metabolism is one of the main hangover causes.
Most people think that you end up with a hangover because of alcohol’s diuretic effects. But dehydration is just the start.
Ethanol, the alcohol in drinks, triggers an inflammatory reaction in the body. But the worst hangover symptoms come from your body’s attempt to get rid of the ethanol using a super-toxin called acetaldehyde.
Basically, your body gets freaked out by the alcohol in your blood. So it sends out free radicals to neutralize the danger. This isn’t a problem when you have one or two drinks. But if you keep drinking, the free radicals keep coming.
In a desperate effort to control this onslaught, your liver produces acetaldehyde before it gets flushed out of your system.
Acetaldehyde is the key cause of all hangovers.
This dangerous byproduct of alcohol is estimated to be between 10 and 30 times as toxic as ethanol itself.7
In fact, it’s so toxic that it doesn’t stay in your body for long. And it’s mostly gone by the time the hangover begins.
But researchers believe it’s the dreadful after-effects of acetaldehyde that cause symptoms like drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headache, rapid heartbeat, and anxiety.
NAC eliminates your hangover symptoms by increasing the production of glutathione in the body. Glutathione is needed to break down acetaldehyde.
Unfortunately, your liver’s stores of glutathione quickly run out when you consume larger amounts of alcohol. And that leaves acetaldehyde in your body for a long time.
Replenishing your glutathione levels is vital to reducing the effects of a hangover. And supplementing with NAC is a surefire way to bring levels back up.
And studies back up the claims…
In one study, researchers found that inflammation caused by free radicals was significantly reduced when rats were given NAC with alcohol.8 Another study also found reduced inflammation in rat brains when the animals were treated with NAC.9
A third study in humans was carried out at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Researchers gave 19 male volunteers alcoholic drinks over three hours, followed by either NAC or a placebo.
Researchers found that not only did NAC decrease or even eliminate a hangover entirely, but it also “reduced the need of drinking the next day,” thereby cutting the risk of alcohol addiction.10
Luckily, the FDA didn’t get away with the effort to ban NAC. At least, not yet… And it’s certainly worth having some in your house if you think you may end up having “one too many.”
I suggest taking 1,200 mg. That’s the amount used in the Helsinki study.
Try the sure-fire way to boost glutathione
But I recommend a different source of glutathione. I’m talking about a Myers’ cocktail.
This intravenous infusion contains a powerful mix of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, and a B-vitamin complex. But at the Sears Institute, we also add a glutathione “boost” at the end to break down acetaldehyde and clear it away.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Costa m, et al. “N-acetylcysteine protects memory decline induced by streptozotocin in mice.” Chem Biol Interact. 2016 Jun 25;253:10-7.
2. Monti DA, et al. “N-acetyl cysteine is associated with dopaminergic improvement in Parkinson’s disease.” Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Oct;106(4):884-890.
3. Fulghesu, A. M., Ciampelli, M., Muzj, G., Belosi, C., Selvaggi, L., Ayala, G. F., & Lanzone, A. (2002). N-acetyl-cysteine treatment improves insulin sensitivity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertility and sterility, 77(6), 1128–1135. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0015-0282(02)03133-3
4. Ma Y, et al. “N-acetylcysteine protects mice from high fat diet-induced metabolic disorders.” Pharm Res. 2016;33(8):2033-2042
5. Minarini A, et al. “N-acetylcysteine in the treatment of psychiatric disorders: current status and future prospects.” Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2017 Mar;13(3):279-292.
6. Pirabbasi E, et al. “Efficacy of ascorbic acid (vitamin c) and/n-acetylcysteine (nac) supplementation on nutritional and antioxidant status of male chronic obstructive pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients.” J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2016;62(1):54-61.
7. Ashurst JV, Nappe TM. Methanol Toxicity. [Updated 2022 Jun 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-.
8. Ozaras R, et al. “N-acetylcysteine attenuates alcohol-induced oxidative stress in he rat.” World J Gastroenterol. 2003 Jan 15; 9(1): 125–128.
9. Schneider R, et al. “N-acetylcysteine Prevents Alcohol Related Neuroinflammation in Rats.” Neurochem Res. 2017 Aug;42(8):2135-2141.
10. Eriksson C, et al. “L-Cysteine containing vitamin supplement which prevents or alleviates alcohol-related hangover symptoms: nausea, headache, stress and anxiety.” Alcohol Alcohol. 2020 Oct 20;55(6):660-666.