Kudzu, Hangovers and Cancer
by David J. Hanson, Ph. D.
Kudzu is a vine (Pueraria lobata) that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,500 years and is now being marketed as a cure for hangovers.
There is conflicting evidence whether or not Kudzu and its active component , diadzein (or diazen) and its metabolic product equol, have any effect on reducing the consumption of alcohol. In addition, no studies have demonstrate that kudzu can serve as a morning-after substance for reducing or eliminating hangovers as used in traditional Chinese practice. It should be noted that traditional Chinese medicine is neither based on nor uses scientific research and evidence.
On the other hand, Dr. Neil McGregor has pointed out that the active components of Kudzu have been linked with a 650% increase in cervical cancer. Thus, Kudzu products, which are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, may be not only ineffective but dangerous to women’s health.
The best way to prevent hangovers is to drink in moderation or abstain. There is some evidence that drinking clear distilled spirits beverages such as vodka or gin reduces the severity of hangovers, other things being equal.
- Appreciation is expressed to Neil McGregor, MDSc., Ph.D., for providing much of the information and many of the references used in this report.
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