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What you should drink to avoid a hangover and reduce the harmful effects of drinking

The entirety of December is pretty much synonymous with over-indulgence.

The 'eat, drink, drink more, recover, repeat' cycle comes to debilitating head on 1 January, when large numbers of us lie curl up on the sofa, too dehydrated to cry tears of pain and regret.

Everyone has - if not a 'hangover cure' - then something which helps them through it.

Popular ones tend to be something greasy, or stodgy - preferably both - accompanied by something sugary.

Some people even swear by exercise to banish the cobwebs.

Young man with a headache
Does this man's pain seem familiar?

One of the most enduring and popular is, of course, hair of the dog .

But what if what you choose to drink the night before could not only help with the hangover, but also with the damaging effects of alcohol.

According to German scientists, there is just the 'tonic'.

Not only that, but it comes at the same time as the trend for mega-hoppy beers continues to go from strength to strength.

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Turning to beer may help with hangovers, if not beer bellies

The research, according to the Mail Online , has found hops in beer can lessen the harm done to the liver following a night of heavy drinking.

In comparison to spirits, beverages such as IPAs, pale ales and pilsners contain hops which seemingly reduce the production of toxins and harmful fats in the liver.

Published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism , the study was conducted by researchers who gave mice three types of alcohol: Beer brewed without hops, beer containing hops and pure alcohol.

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After two hours had elapsed, analysis was conducted on the livers of the mice, with the process repeated again 12 hours later.

What they found was the mice who were given beer with hops had less build-up of fat in their liver, as well as less inflammation, than the mice given pure alcohol or beer without hops.

They also had lower levels of nitric oxide synthases, the molecules associated with headaches.

So, there's still no cure for a hangover, but there are ways of protecting yourself somewhat against it (though it may result in a beer belly).

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