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Hangover? It May Not Be Your Fault

Do you suffer from a hangover by default after a good night out? Then your father, mother, brother or sister probably do too in case they go out. Why? A hangover depends on your genetic makeup American researchers claim.

Not Entirely Your Fault

According to the research, you no longer need to blame yourself only for your painful headache on a typical Saturday morning. The researchers found a strong correlation between susceptibility to hangovers in identical twins, showing that your genes are decisive for how strong (painful) your hangover will be.

During the research, 2000 Australian twins were examined who all had to drink the same amount of alcohol. Genetic material were collected from the twins, they had to write how often they drank alcohol for a year, and how often they felt sick after drinking.

The results show that the genes of women can predict for 45 percent how sick she would feel the next day. For men this is 40 percent. The type of hangover is further determined by the speed at which a person drinks, and whether they eat while they drink.

So genetics accounts for nearly half of the reason why someone experiences a hangover and another person doesn’t, after drinking the same amount of alcohol, the study said. The other half probably comes from factors unrelated to DNA, such as how fast someone drinks, whether they eat while they drink and their tolerance for alcohol.

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Drinking a Lot Means More Hangovers

The researchers also found that the people who had the gene variants involved in an increased risk of having hangovers also drank to the point of being intoxicated more frequently than people who didn’t have the hangover genes.

The study shows that people who drink a lot are often hungover. This looks like pretty straightforward, but according to the researchers it is definitely a discovery. The results show that your genes partly determine how often you grab the bottle, and therefore how often you feel that annoying headache.

“We have demonstrated that susceptibility to hangovers has a genetic underpinning. This may be another clue to the genetics of alcoholism,” study leader Wendy Slutske, a psychology professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, told Live Science in an email.

The new findings suggest that people who frequently consume alcohol should observe the way their bodies react to it, she said. “It is not a good idea to try to pace your drinking to the people around you, because you might be more susceptible to hangover than the other people that you are drinking with,” Slutske said.

“With drinking alcohol, it is not ‘one size fits all,” Slutske said. “People are different in their ability to consume alcohol without experiencing adverse consequences, such as having a hangover.”

One of the next steps will be to identify the specific genes that contribute to hangover susceptibility, Slutske said. If the genes associated with alcoholism also underlie hangovers, identifying these genetic risk factors could help prevent addiction in the future.

Tell us night outers, are you suffering from a hangover? Do you have similar hangovers like the ones of your brother, sister or parents? Do they share their hangover experiences with you in the first place? 😀

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