By Harriet Mallinson | Published on July 17, 2017
Raise your hand if you had a heavy night this weekend. Did you feel horrendous the morning after? Did you vow never to drink again?
Well, suffer no more, as students at Yale University have developed a supplement they say will vanquish hangovers once and for all.
Dubbed Mentis – from the Latin term compos mentis meaning ‘of sound mind’ – the product is a powder to be mixed with water and consumed before drinking. It promises to eliminate productivity loss and suffering due to hangovers, as well as to improve health and liver function.
“The idea for Mentis came from a personal problem, as I found my social life interfering with my work life and vice versa,” co-founder and athlete Liam McClintock told MACROS. “I knew there had to be a better solution than coffee and Advil.”
Liam partnered with senior molecular biology major, Maggie Morse, as well as Yale professors, nutritionists and a pharmaceutical manufacturer to create the formula for Mentis.
“After six months of extensive research, we realized that there were four main causes of a hangover: vitamin loss, acetaldehyde buildup, immunologic disturbances, and glutamine rebound,” Liam explained.
A box of 10 anti-hangover Mentis sachets costs $29
Co-founder and athlete Liam McClintock (right) partnered with senior molecular biology major, Maggie Morse (left)
Four ways to beat a hangover
As ethanol is broken down in the liver, the toxic molecule acetaldehyde is created, wreaking havoc on the body.
The Mentis formula uses sulforaphane (a compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli) to eliminate acetaldehyde as well as other ingredients that boost powerful antioxidant glutathione, an amino acid that protects cells from free radicals and helps neutralize acetaldehyde.
Unbalanced glutamine levels is the second cause of a hangover. This natural stimulant is temporarily inhibited with alcohol consumption before going into ‘glutamine rebound’ when drinking stops and upping glutamate production to make up for lost time.
This then stimulates the brain as the drinker is trying to slumber, seriously disrupting sleep patterns and causing fatigue the next day.
There’s also some evidence that severe glutamine rebound during a hangover may be responsible for tremors, restlessness, anxiety and increased blood pressure.
Mentis prevents this rebound by including L-alanylglutamine which helps increase glutamine stores. This in turn will stabilize blood sugar levels. Added B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium will also help deepen REM sleep which is most disrupted by glutamine rebound.
– RELATED: 5 Alcohol Mistakes You’re Probably Making –
In response to alcohol the body’s immune system will be pushed into overdrive and overproduces cytokines, which causes both physical discomfort such as aches and pains and mental discomposure, including memory impairment and mood changes.
The anti-hangover supplement therefore contains two ingredients to reduce the inflammatory cytokines that cause sickness-like symptoms: Mung bean powder and epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC) which have both been shown to decrease inflammation.
The fourth and final cause of a hangover is vitamin and electrolyte loss due to the diuretic nature of alcohol. The resulting lack of key B and C vitamins, as well as potassium, magnesium and zinc, after a big night out can take a nasty toll on the body’s wellbeing.
Mentis’s blend of vitamins and electrolytes aims to increase these essential nutrients in the body to prepare for the loss resulting from alcohol consumption.
How should it be taken?
The supplement is intended to combat the effects of any type of alcohol, says Liam. “I recommend that people take Mentis with a meal, preferably about an hour before drinking alcohol, so that the body can best absorb the nutrients,” he adds.
“My other advice would be to drink responsibly within limits and hydrate as often as possible.”
How valid is Mentis?
Of course, before we get too carried away about the potential hangover-free life ahead of us, we must remember that the FDA has yet to evaluate Mentis’s claims and many of the tests were performed on rodents.
Nevertheless, as Liam insists, it has much more scientific validity than other products claiming to help with hangovers. “Our unique formula has a provisional patent to protect against competition,” he says, “Most of the anti-hangover supplements out there are simply vitamin mixes that do not address all causes of a hangover.”
For now, we should remember to stay safe with alcohol consumption and drink in moderation…while quietly getting excited about what’s to come in this field.
A box of 10 Mentis sachets costs $29 plus shipping, available to buy on their website.
Harriet is Editor of MACROS and perfectly capable of eating an entire log of goat’s cheese in one sitting.