Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hangover remedy examined: Yak-a-mein soup, a.k.a., ‘Old Sober’

Date:
April 9, 2013
Source:
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Summary:
One of the Crescent City's time-honored traditions -- a steaming bowl of Yak-a-mein Soup, a.k.a., “Old Sober” -- after a night of partying in the French Quarter actually does have a basis in scientific fact, according to new research.

One of the Crescent City's time-honored traditions -- a steaming bowl of Yak-a-mein Soup, a.k.a., "Old Sober" -- after a night of partying in the French Quarter actually does have a basis in scientific fact. That was the word today from an overview of the chemistry of hangovers, presented as part of the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Alyson E. Mitchell, Ph.D., said foods like Yak-a-mein -- also spelled Yakmein, Yaka-mein and Yak-a-Men -- have salts, protein and other ingredients that help people recover from the effects of imprudent consumption of alcohol. Although recipes vary, Yak-a-mein typically is made with a salty beef-and-soy-sauce-based broth; a carbohydrate source like noodles; protein from beef, chicken or shrimp; onions or chopped scallions; and sliced hard-boiled egg. Vendors often sell the soup from sidewalk carts during New Orleans festivals, and some restaurants have their own signature recipes.

"Folklore has it that American soldiers from New Orleans stationed in Korea in the 1950s learned to appreciate Yak-a-mein on the morning after, and brought a taste for it back home," said Mitchell. She is with the University of California at Davis. "It may be a good example of intuitive science -- an effective remedy, and with the scientific basis revealed only years later."

Mitchell spoke on the chemistry and physiology of the hangover at a symposium, "Chemistry of the Bar," which connects with the ACS meeting's core theme, "The Chemistry of Energy and Food." Hundreds of the 12,000 reports on new advances in science scheduled for presentation at the meeting relate to that theme.

What exactly is a hangover?

"Hangovers have been called a 'metabolic storm,'" said Mitchell. "They result from high blood levels of ethanol and the accompanying dehydration, direct toxic effects of the body's breakdown of alcohol into acetaldehyde and toxic effects of substances called congeners that are present in darkly colored liquor like scotch and bourbon."

Drinkers can try to avoid a hangover, or the more serious consequences of excessive drinking, with these suggestions from Mitchell:

  • Eat eggs, which contain cysteine, which helps to remove acetyldehyde from the body.
  • Drink broth because it contains salts that can help replace sodium, potassium and other salts lost in the urine due to the diuretic effect of alcohol. Sports drinks also may help.
  • Take vitamin B1, which may help prevent the buildup of glutarate, a substance linked to the headache part of a hangover.
  • Remember that the body can metabolize, or eliminate, about one-half ounce of pure alcohol per hour. So consume no more than one 12-ounce beer, five ounces of wine, or one ounce of distilled spirits each hour.
  • Don't drink coffee, which is a diuretic and can worsen the dehydration caused by alcohol itself.
  • Eat fatty foods prior to drinking. They help slow down absorption of alcohol.
  • Avoid dark liquors such as brandy, tequila, whiskey and red wine, which have the highest concentrations of congeners. By contrast, clear liquors, such as vodka and gin, have fewer congeners.

Mitchell emphasized, however, that the only sure way to prevent a hangover is to abstain from alcohol, or drink responsibly, in moderation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society (ACS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society (ACS). "Hangover remedy examined: Yak-a-mein soup, a.k.a., ‘Old Sober’." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130409155818.htm>.
American Chemical Society (ACS). (2013, April 9). Hangover remedy examined: Yak-a-mein soup, a.k.a., ‘Old Sober’. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130409155818.htm
American Chemical Society (ACS). "Hangover remedy examined: Yak-a-mein soup, a.k.a., ‘Old Sober’." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130409155818.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

Newsy (Apr. 13, 2014) Researchers at the University of Michigan have designed an app to fight jet lag by adjusting your body's light intake. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treatment Gaps Endangering Cops, Mentally Ill

Treatment Gaps Endangering Cops, Mentally Ill

AP (Apr. 10, 2014) As states slash funding for mental health services, police officers are interacting more than ever with people suffering from schizophrenia and other serious disorders of the mind. The consequences can be deadly. (April 10) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins