The Dutch anti-hangover pill Zober (about time science did something!)

Finally an anti-hangover pill

So, it’s pretty well-established that the Dutch are innovative, from research on Dutch courage, to cycling amazingness, to water wrangling powers. Next up? A Dutch dynamic duo of father and son invented a supplement intended to help prevent hangovers, marketed as an anti-hangover pill (anti-katerpill) called Zober!

As the story goes, Niels Pesser, a medical student, and his father, Jacco, a pharmacist, lamented the challenges of cycling with a hangover during dinner with a couple alcoholic beverages. From there, they looked for research that identified substances to battle the affliction, and discovered a property of a special Chinese green tea as a possible anti-hangover treatment.

The Secret Recipe of the Dutch anti-hangover pill Zober

Naturally, the recipe is a secret, so it’s not really clear what exactly the target substance is, or even what research was cited to support its creation. Additionally, even a pharmacology professor at Radboud University noted a couple limitations: (1) tea might help improve alcohol metabolism by 10-15%, but since it takes about one hour to process one glass of beer, this improvement is only to about 50 minutes or so, and (2) the study he cites was only done in mice, not humans. (My own cursory search of Pubmed.gov, a huge U.S.-based repository of peer-reviewed published scientific and medical literature, revealed nothing relevant by searching for “green tea and alcohol” or “green tea and hangovers.”)

Dutch anti-hangover pill Zober
Green tea = hangover cure?

Reportedly, anecdotal reviews of the product, which has already sold over a hundred boxes with more sales ongoing, seem to be positive. The creators don’t believe it’s solely a placebo effect, since reviews are reportedly uniformly positive, but they admit that there is no scientific evidence to support the product’s application and that they also have no plans to perform scientific research on its effects either.

Hangover Cure

Certainly, there’s some credit due for this Dutch student inventor’s business-mindedness and investment of his own capital in the product. As to its usefulness in reality? Is it truly the next bona fida hangover cure? Or the next green coffee bean?

My vote: it’s probably neither. But I guess if you’re looking to spend your money on a quick-fix, I guess you could try it out. Or, remember the simple preventive measures that don’t cost extra: Don’t drink more alcohol than you should, and stay hydrated and fed when drinking alcohol. A fellow Dutch Reviewer said the same, and I agree, especially about the bacon.

 

Tiffany Leung
An American born and raised, Tiffany is fulfilling a lifelong dream as an expat in one of the happiest countries in the world. Learning Dutch hard and fast, she greatly admires Dutch culture and sensibility, but is also wondering whether she could ever one day also master the Mestreechs dialect.

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