In the UK, a brand-new hangover supplement has recently gone on sale. The Swedish company Myrkl markets it as "the pre-drinking tablet that works."
After 60 minutes, the tablet is supposed to break down up to 70% of the alcohol. This indicates that just 6 ml of alcohol will enter the bloodstream if a person consumes 50 ml of a 40 percent spirit, which contains 20 ml of pure alcohol. This is equivalent to consuming merely 15 ml of alcohol. The body absorbs less alcohol, which is matched by a decrease in the short-term effects of alcohol, such as exhilaration and decreased anxiety.
The manufacturer of this supplement advises taking two pills anywhere between one and twelve hours before consuming alcohol. The probiotic supplement comprises two gut-friendly bacteria made from fermented rice bran, Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus coagulans. These microorganisms naturally convert alcohol into carbon dioxide and water.
The bacteria are shielded from the stomach’s natural acids by an acid-resistant capsule so they can get to the intestine, where the majority of alcohol is absorbed into the circulation. Those who don’t want a hangover after drinking the day before are the target market for the drug. But can a hangover really be avoided with these pills?
A hangover is mainly due to the dehydrating effects of alcohol, which can give a headache. The direct effect of alcohol on the stomach can also cause a sore stomach and nausea.
Drinking less alcohol reduces the likelihood of being dehydrated. However, because the pills only function once alcohol has moved from the stomach to the intestine, they won’t reverse the effects of alcohol on the stomach.
The evidence for Myrkl is based on a single published research study.
For seven days, either two Myrkl tablets or sham pills were given to 24 healthy, young, white people. Then, according to their weight, a little amount of alcohol was administered to them. For the following two hours, their blood alcohol content was measured. The level of alcohol in the blood was 70% lower in individuals who took Myrkl than in those who took the placebo during the first 60 minutes, according to the study’s findings. The results of this study are weaker despite its sound design, which included randomly assigning participants to the Myrkl or fake pill groups.
First, because ten of the 24 participants had lower initial blood alcohol levels, the researchers only presented the findings from 14 of the 24 participants. Second, results differed amongst individuals, lowering the study’s accuracy. Third, although the business only advises taking two pills one to 12 hours prior to consuming any amount of alcohol, researchers examined seven days of treatment.
The study also raises a lot more questions than it answers. Can those who are not young, healthy, and white take the pill? Does it help those with liver or gastrointestinal conditions? Do men and women experience the pill’s effects differently? What happens if you combine food and alcohol? Do medicines affect how well pills work?
It is already known that friendly gut bacteria are changed by long-term illnesses and lifestyle (smoking, regular alcohol consumption, and diet). It is also known that alcohol is absorbed differently according to weight, sex, physical activity, and food consumption.
These elements could weaken or strengthen the impact of the beneficial bacteria found in Myrkl tablets. Probiotics may be found easily and are harmless. Many supermarkets and health food stores sell them as yoghurts, beverages, or pills. The two microorganisms found in the Myrkl tablets are probably safe for the majority of people as well.
Yet probiotics given to people with illnesses can upset the natural balance of healthy gut bacteria causing infection or gut symptoms.
Some people would benefit from taking a pre-drinking medication to avoid a hangover the next day. The easiest way to prevent a hangover, despite all the unsolved uncertainties surrounding Myrkl, is to consume less alcohol the day before.