‘Hangover pill’ created in Manitoba
Groggy, nauseous, and a throbbing headache. They are common signs after a night of too much liquid indulgence.
It’s the hangover haze one made-in-Manitoba product believes it can help cure.
Clear Head is marketed as an all-natural remedy to help prevent the symptoms of a hangover.
“If you use it properly, it will work,” said Ray Takacs, the owner of T.H.E. Food Source, which distributes Clear Head.
Clear Head was developed by ALLNatural Nutritional Products (ANNP), at the University of Manitoba’s Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals.
The remedy is approved by Heath Canada as a natural health product to help protect the liver and help support liver function.
Rather than relying on aspirin or caffeine, the active compound in the extract is milk thistle or silymarin, which has been used for more than 2,000 years to treat a range of liver diseases, according to ANNP.
READ MORE: This is why hangovers get worse with age
“Milk thistle is a compound that has anti inflammatory (properties),” Ron Marquardt said. Marquardt is a nutritional bio-chemistry professor emeritus, and one of the co-creators of the pill. “It also prevents oxidative reactions. It has a basic metabolic effect that overcomes many of the adverse effects of excess oxygen exposure and inflammation.”
While Marquardt and co-creator Suzhen Li worked on the science behind the pill, it was Marquardt’s son, Alex, they have to thank for the idea.
“At the time I was living in Spain,” Alex Marquardt said. “This was about 15 years ago, and I was drinking more often than I probably should have been and I was trying to look for ways to mitigate the negative effects of alcohol in my system.”
Alex began researching vitamins and ingredients he thought might help with his dreaded hangovers.
“I compiled a list of products I thought would help me,” he said. “I started to divide and conquer these ingredients by experimenting on myself and friends to better understand what is the actual ‘magic’ ingredient.”
He eventually narrowed it down to milk thistle before calling his dad, the scientist, to help with the more academic research.
A hangover occurs after the body converts alcohol to acetate and it accumulates in your body. Acetate activates brain receptors, causing that hangover pain, according to ANNP.
Clear Head works to counteract the action of those receptors. It also helps the liver clear the toxins.
“It targets certain enzymes in the body and modifies their activities,” Ron Marquardt said.
But, the key to making Clear Head work, is pre-planning.
Each packet comes with four capsules. People take two before consuming alcohol and then one more before they go to bed. The fourth is a spare, to take the next morning if you need it.
“People that use it, it really works for them,” Takacs said.
“If you use it properly it will work. If you go out and challenge it and find yourself on the bar room floor… you’re going to hurt.”
Takacs said the pill is not a prescription to drink until you’re severely intoxicated without feeling any pain.
“We had one client that called us on it. The fact that he drank 28 beers and eight shots of jaggermeister and he felt like hell in the morning,” Takacs said.
Even the company admits nothing is going to help a hangover like that.
WATCH: Clear Head helps stave off ill-effects of alcohol indulgence
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