British Study Suggests "Take Two Pints and Call Me in the Morning."

[DIGEST: Independent, The Sun, Self]

How to treat a hangover? Some argue for rest and electrolytes. Some for Tylenol. Some swear that “hair of the dog” cures what ails you.

Well, a recent study out of the UK found that the “hair of the dog” camp was onto something.

According to the study, published in the Journal of Pain, drinking two pints of beer is more effective at relieving pain than over-the-counter pain medicine like Tylenol.  

The paper was a meta-analysis of 18 different studies involving 404 participants that looked at beer’s ability to dull pain intensity and boost the pain threshold. The authors found that once participants hit a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08, or about four drinks, there was a small rise in participants’ pain thresholds.

However, that 0.08 BAC showed a substantial effect on lowering the participants’ pain intensity. “We found that when people were given alcohol, their pain ratings were around 25 percent lower compared to when nothing was administered or a placebo was given,” said coauthor Trevor Thompson of London University of Greenwich.

PintsCredit: Source.

“It can be compared to opioid drugs such as codeine and the effect is more powerful than [acetaminophen],” said Thompson.

Researchers aren’t yet sure why that effect occurs—whether beer blunts the sensation of pain by working on brain receptors, or if it lowers anxiety which in turn reduces the perception of pain.

But don’t reach for that pint just yet.

For one thing, the type of pain that the studies examined was different than the type of pain that pain medications treat. “The studies that we looked at used short-term, acute pain that

was induced by experimental methods,” said Thompson. For instance, participants might dunk their hands in cold water. But in trials of pain medication, researchers examine longer-term persistent pain.

“Even though experimental pain inductions offer a great deal of experimental control, short-term pain and long-term persistent pain are different in many ways. Chronic pain tends to be more intense, produces greater distress, is less controllable. . . and it involves several different neural mechanisms,” he continued.  

The pain relief effects are also likely to be outweighed by the dangers of drinking this level of alcohol. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines low-risk drinking for women as no more than three drinks on any single day, and no more than seven drinks per week. For men, it’s no more than four drinks on any single day, and no more than 14 drinks per week.

Drinking more than these guidelines can result in high blood pressure, cancer and liver disease. “Ironically, [drinking that much] could even present an increased risk for developing other future chronic pain conditions,” said Thompson.

So if you are reaching for alcohol to cope with pain, Dr. Rosanna O’Connor, the Director of Alcohol and Drugs at Public Health England, stressed, don’t. “Drinking too much will cause you more problems in the long run. It’s better to see your GP.”


Shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that representatives would begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took the podium to defend the President and the Republican party as a whole.

It could've gone better.

Keep reading... Show less
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images // MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

One day after the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held a press conference announcing that the House would begin drafting articles of impeachment, with a possible floor vote as soon as Christmas.

The press conference signaled the beginning of the end of the impeachment inquiry in the House.

Keep reading... Show less
Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee, in its public impeachment hearing against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, consulted four constitutional scholars for greater insight to the legal implications of the President's Ukraine scandal—and whether they merit impeachment.

Three witnesses, called by Democrats, each made compelling arguments for the articles of impeachment with which Trump could be charged.

George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley—invited by Republicans—was the lone dissenter.

Keep reading... Show less
gbuck_jr/Twitter; National Archives

The Republican Party again raised ire and eyebrows with yet another GOP candidate advocating violence against members of Congress in official campaign materials.

This time it is George Buck Jr. of Florida. The GOP politician is running for the 13th congressional district—a seat currently held by Democrat Charlie Crist.

Keep reading... Show less
Win McNamee/Getty Images // Hogan Gidley/Twitter

President Donald Trump's press team is working overtime to discredit media coverage of the impeachment hearings against their boss.

The House Judiciary Committee began its hearings today, with four constitutional scholars—Pamela Karlan, Michael Gerhardt, Noah Feldman, and Jonathan Turley—tasked with testifying about the constitutionality of impeaching Donald Trump. The former three were invited by Democrats, who hold the majority, while Turley was invited by Republicans.

Keep reading... Show less

The House Intelligence Committee submitted to the House Judiciary Committee its 300 page report of information gleaned from fact witnesses so far in the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

In addition to reiterating the testimony of several witnesses regarding Trump's corrupt dealings with Ukraine, the report also highlighted call records between numerous key players in the Ukraine scandal.

Keep reading... Show less