The supplement, which launches on Monday, has been shown in trials to break down alcohol in the gut before it hits the rest of the body. Scientists believe it may also protect the body from some of the damage that alcohol causes, particularly to the liver, but work on this has yet to be carried out – and they stress it is not an answer to excessive drinking.
Myrkl is being marketed as a “pre-drinking pill” after a small trial found two doses taken at least one hour beforehand could break down up to 70 percent of alcohol in the stomach within 60 minutes.
The manufacturers say it can protect the body from the hangover for up to 12 hours. The pill is made of probiotics, derived from the body’s natural bacteria, with amino acid L-Cysteine and Vitamin B12.
The trio helps breakdown alcohol’s toxic by-products into carbon dioxide and water.
Researchers showed that those who drank two glasses of wine and took the supplement in advance had on average 50 percent less alcohol in their blood after 30 minutes, and 70 percent less after 60 minutes. Myrkl, which was developed over three decades under Swedish medical company De Faire Medical, costs around £10 a capsule.
Håkan Magnusson, the company’s CEO, said: “While Myrkl is in no way designed as an excuse to drink beyond NHS guidelines, nor does it stop you getting drunk, we are really convinced Myrkl is a game-changing product for those regular moderate drinkers.”
And Dr Dawn Harper, an NHS GP and co-presenter of TV show Embarrassing Bodies, thinks the pill has huge potential.
“If you want to go out and get drunk, Myrkl would simply mean it would take you a lot longer and cost you a lot more,” she said.
“Where I see Myrkl could be relevant is for the huge number of moderate drinkers in the UK.”
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