It turns out indulging in a little hair of the dog has some scientific merit – and not just as a cure for hangovers.
In a study from the University of Greenwich, researchers found that drinking two pints of beer is more effective at treating pain than taking pharmaceutical painkillers.
Throughout 18 studies, researchers discovered that elevating your blood alcohol content to roughly 0.08 percent gives your body “a small elevation of pain threshold” and therefore a “moderate to large reduction in pain intensity ratings.”
“Findings suggest that alcohol is an effective analgesic that delivers clinically-relevant reductions in ratings of pain intensity, which could explain alcohol misuse in those with persistent pain, despite its potential consequences for long-term health,” said the researchers, adding that beer can cut your discomfort by about a quarter.
What isn’t quite clear is whether alcohol actually decreases your pain because it affects brain receptors or because it simply lowers your anxiety and makes you perceive the pain as less severe.
“[Alcohol] can be compared to opioid drugs such as codeine and the effect is more powerful than paracetamol,” lead author Trevor Thompson told The Sun.
“If we can make a drug without the harmful side-effects, then we could have something that is potentially better than what is out there at the moment.”
Experts point out that this study doesn’t necessarily mean you should get drunk every time you experience an ache or pain, however.
Rosanna O'Connor, director of Alcohol and Drugs at Public Health England, pushed that “drinking too much will cause you more problems in the long run.”
“It’s better to see your GP,” she said.
We'll assume that stands not for general practitioner, but for gastro-pub.