Hangover-Proof Booze? Fortifying Liquor With Oxygen Might Be the Key

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - 12:35 in Physics & Chemistry

The effects of alcohol are generally pleasant until they're not anymore, at which point they become blindingly painful and, in some cases, quite dangerous. Whether or not a hard-partying type is struck by a crippling hangover or a sudden desire to text his or her ex is generally dependent on how that individual metabolizes and eliminates alcohol in his or her body. A new study suggests that we could quite easily engineer our tipple to help us break down alcohol faster, reducing that morning-after sensation of intense pain (or intense regret) by simply adding more oxygen to our booze. The body metabolizes ethanol through a series of oxidization reactions that reduce it to water and carbon dioxide for easy processing. A handful of enzymes are responsible for this critical step, but those enzymes are worthless without oxygen to kick the reactions into gear. So the idea is simple: more oxygen, better...

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