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HealthWatch: UC Davis Scientist Claims Soup Can Cure Hangovers

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Yakameat, also known as Yak-a-mein or “Old Sober,” is a soup popular in New Orleans. It is also considered a cure for hangovers. (CBS)

Yakameat, also known as Yak-a-mein or “Old Sober,” is a soup popular in New Orleans. It is also considered a cure for hangovers. (CBS)

CBS SF Bay (con't)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — There are plenty of supposed hangover cures, from hair of the dog to greasy cheeseburgers. But new research finds a certain bowl of soup popular in New Orleans may work.

The spicy noodle soup is Yakameat, also known as Yak-a-mein or “Old Sober.” It is typically made with salty beef and soy broth; noodles; beef, chicken or shrimp; chopped scallions and a hard-boiled egg.

Dr. Alyson E. Mitchell of the UC Davis Food Science & Technology department analyzed the soup, and said the hangover cure has a basis in scientific fact. Mitchell said each and every ingredient can help people recover from the effects of too much alcohol.

For example, the hard boiled egg contains cysteine, which helps to remove acetyldehyde from the body. Acetyldehyde is how alcohol breaks down in the body.

The soup also contains salts that can help replace the sodium, potassium, and other salts lost to the diuretic effects of alcohol.

Results showing the soup’s effectiveness were presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

KPIX 5 spoke to Creole caterer Daniel Knight and chef Woodrow Conerly of Spice it Up Catering. Conerly whipped us up a batch of the soup, a recipe he got from his mother.

He used to eat it all the time growing up in New Orleans.

“I’m not a scientist,” said Conerly, “but it works.”

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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