Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 13 November 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1312

Hangover assay

Ethanol is quickly metabolised in the blood stream, but there are several other metabolites of alcohol which, though more challenging for the laboratory to measure, make longer lasting markers of excessive drinking. A review in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology (1999;112:443-50) says that the most promising single marker of intoxication in the previous few days remains fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs). Adding this to a panel of neutrophil phosphatidylethanol, acet-aldehyde adducts, and transferrins may give greater diagnostic confidence.

Water fills you up

Such is the exquisite precision of the body's appestat—which links energy requirements and satiety—that very small excesses in caloric intakes on a regular basis will result in considerable weight gain over time (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1999; 70:448-55). Reducing the energy density of food by adding extra water during its preparation seems to be effective in enhancing its satiating effects: eat soup for lunch.

Medline falls short

Medline is the best known medical bibliographic database, but …

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