: The quest for a hangover cure — could this tablet be the breakthrough for drinkers?

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A barman waits for customers at the Arctice ice bar in the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, Finland

pawel kopczynski/Reuters

Scientists in Finland have found what they claim to be a cure for the hangover.

Researchers have published a study that shows alcohol-induced nausea, headaches, stress and anxiety were alleviated by patients taking an amino acid tablet called L-cysteine.

A cure for a hangover is much sought after with drinkers swearing by a host of ancient remedies and urban legends including drinking more alcohol, guzzling coffee, and sweating it out.

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Few have been effective for all the symptoms of excess alcohol but academics from the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Helsinki published details of a recent study in the journal of Alcohol and Alcoholism which claims to have broken new ground.

They advertised for 19 men willing to drink 1.5g/kg of alcohol during a three hour period and then take either a placebo or L-cysteine tablet.

The paper claimed that “L-cysteine prevents or alleviates hangover, nausea, headache, stress and anxiety. For hangover, nausea and headache the results were apparent with the L-cysteine dose of 1200 mg and for stress and anxiety already with the dose of 600 mg.”

It concluded: “L-cysteine would reduce the need of drinking the next day with no or less hangover symptoms: nausea, headache, stress and anxiety. Altogether, these effects of L-cysteine are unique and seem to have a future in preventing or alleviating these harmful symptoms as well as reducing the risk of alcohol addiction.”

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However the survey size of 19 is statistically small, and the survey was funded by Catapult Cat Oy, which sells L-cysteine supplements, according to newswire Bloomberg, which also claimed some of the men were excluded because they were unable to consume the alcohol within the time limit.

Average alcohol consumption among Finns has been high in the past with the country ranking 16th in the world according to World Health Organisation data in 2010. Experts cite a lack of daylight and a large black-market dating back from when alcohol was prohibited.