Understanding the Benefits of Prickly Pear Extract and its use in Hangover remedies

This thorny fruit may look dangerous but in fact, it is quite the opposite! From benefitting those with metabolic diseases to those with kidney diseases, the benefits of prickly pear are plentiful AND are backed with science (a bonus!). 

Top Prickly Pear Benefits Include: 

  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Boosts immune function
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Regulates blood sugar and cholesterol

Drinking-specific Prickly Bear Benefits:

  • Reduces inflammation casued by acetaldehyde
  • Reduces severity of hangovers
  • Protects the liver by helping to remove toxic byproducts

Prickly Pear for Hangovers - How Does It Help? 

But let’s focus on what you are looking for: how does prickly pear help with hangovers? A 2004 study was conducted by Wiese and his colleagues to determine if prickly pear can reduce alcohol hangover symptoms. Their logic was that hangovers are known to be related to an inflammatory response the body has to congeners and the toxic metabolites of alcohol. In addition, prickly pear is known to possess anti-inflammatory properties, so by reducing the inflammation with prickly pear, could they offset the hangover?

The study contained healthy, young adult volunteers, who were randomly given either the prickly pear extract or a placebo, five hours prior to alcohol consumption. And to control for variables, each subject was given equal amounts of alcohol relative to their body weight. Afterwards, the hangover severity and overall well-being were assessed as a subjective measurement. Blood and urine samples were taken the next day as well to measure C-reactive protein (C-reactive protein is used as a rough measure to indicate inflammation of the liver).

The results showed that hangover severity was strongly associated with levels of C-reactive protein levels, meaning the greater hangover severity, the higher the levels of C-reactive protein (more inflammation). And those who took the placebo reported greater hangover severity and greater levels of C-reactive protein , whereas those who were given the prickly pear extract reported to have significantly less severe hangover symptoms and lower levels of C-reactive protein.

Find out if Prickly Pear Extract Can Help Your Hangovers! Try Detoxicated Before Your Next Night Out

So there it is, folks! In terms of a hangover, prickly pear has benefits when taken prior to drinking and this is why it’s found in our BEFORE formula. So if you're looking to prevent a hangover naturally, prickly pear might be your guy! As more studies are conducted, the more we will learn about this thorny fruit. Moreover, the benefits don’t just stop there. In addition to anti-inflammatory properties, prickly pear is known to have strong anti-oxidant properties as well. So feel free to take prickly pear supplements or eat prickly pear fruit and cactus like the South Americans have been doing for centuries! If not for your hangovers, then for your health.

Reference: J Weise, et al. Effect of Opuntia ficus indica on Symptoms of the Alcohol Hangover. Arch Intern Med. 2004

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