We all know the pear industry has been booming since Rick Ross first issued his historic #shoutouttoallthepear. But here’s another reason why the fruit is destined for glory: According to CSIRO—Australia’s national science agency—pears may be the key to stopping hangovers before they even start.

Here’s how they came up with their theory: The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization had teamed up with Horticulture Innovation Australia for some unrelated pear research. So far, the two science heavyweights have found that pears can help lower cholesterol, relieve constipation, and even have anti-inflammatory effects on both human and animal bodies. Turns out the hangover discovery was just a bonus.

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CSIRO interviewed lead researcher Professor Manny Noakes, who explained a few important things about the study:

  1. Only Korean pears were tested. There are several differences between Korean (also sold as “Asian”) pears and other pear varieties, so more testing is needed to assess whether you can experience the same hangover-preventing effects from other pears.
  2. Korean pears work by speeding up alcohol metabolism and may also inhibit absorption of alcohol into your system. Noakes said, “In particular, reductions were seen in blood acetaldehyde levels, the toxic metabolic thought to be responsible for the hangover symptoms, with pear juice consumption.”
  3. Overall hangover severity was reduced in test subjects who consumed Korean pear juice versus placebo drink. A 14-item hangover scale was used to measure different symptoms. “Difficulty concentrating” showed the biggest difference between the two groups.
  4. Pears ONLY work if you eat or drink them BEFORE ingesting alcohol—not after. Noakes also stresses that this was just a preliminary study, and more research is needed before any definitive conclusions are reached. But unless you’re allergic, everyone can probably benefit from eating more pears. We don’t know why you wouldn’t want to try this out yourself—for science, of course.
  5. Korean pears are deliciousEven if science proves that they’re the only ones that get the job done, once you taste a perfectly ripe Korean pear, you’ll wonder why you’ve been missing this deliciousness all your life. The “Asian pears” found in most supermarkets year-round pale in comparison to Korean pears in peak season. Hit up Korean groceries around wintertime in North America to find the ripest specimens.

[via CSIRO, Quartz]

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