Got a Hangover? Blame Your Genes

Researchers base finding on study of twins
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2014 8:21 AM CDT
Got a Hangover? Blame Your Genes
Green Bay Packers fan Joseph Yoshizumi drinks a beer before an NFL preseason football game against the Oakland Raiders Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis.   (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

When it comes to a bad reaction to alcohol, it seems not everyone is created equal. Genetics, researchers suggest, could be to blame for almost half the difference among people in whether we suffer the day after drinking. In a survey, study authors asked some 4,000 people on the Australian Twin Registry about the frequency of their hangovers in the past year. They found that both hangover frequency and hangover resistance appeared to be correlated between identical twins, pointing to a possible genetic explanation behind the suffering, LiveScience reports.

More specifically, genetics appeared to be 45% of the reason behind variation in women's hangover experiences, while the figure for men was 40%. A researcher's advice? Don't "try to pace your drinking to the people around you, because you might be more susceptible to hangover than the other people that you are drinking with." And if you do end up hit with a hangover, an expert suggests that the "hair of the dog" theory may actually have some basis in science. The toxin methanol, which is found in small amounts in drinks, causes an adverse reaction in your body—and the ethanol in booze fights that reaction, says Adam Rogers, author of a new book on the subject, via the Belfast Telegraph. Alternatively, to shake your hangover, you could go see this nurse. (More genetics stories.)

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