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Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.read biographyclose window
Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.
Dr. Daniel Hall-Flavin, board certified in general psychiatry and addiction psychiatry, is a St. Louis native looking to the Internet as a way to help people improve their health and be more active participants in their own health care by learning from Mayo Clinic's experts.
Dr. Hall-Flavin served on the faculties of Cornell University Medical College, New York Medical College and The George Washington University Medical School before joining the Mayo Clinic staff in 1996. He has special interests in adult psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine. He served as medical director of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence from 1986 to 1999, and is currently involved in translational medicine research involving the introduction of pharmacogenetic technology into the daily practice of community psychiatry.
"With the advent of pharmacogenetics and related fields and the advances in translational medicine, informed collaborative relationships between knowledgeable, capable health professionals and informed, proactive individuals and their families are more vital than ever," he said.
"I'm optimistic that our Internet health education activities will contribute to ever-improving health outcomes for all who participate and apply what is learned."
Risk factors (1)
- Hangover prevention: Do lighter colored drinks help?
Alternative medicine (1)
- Does prickly pear cactus have health benefits?
Hangover prevention: Do lighter colored drinks help?
Is drinking lighter colored alcoholic drinks an effective hangover prevention strategy?
from Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D.
Drinking lighter colored drinks isn't a good method of hangover prevention — but it may help a little. A hangover is caused by several things, including chemicals in alcoholic drinks other than alcohol. Among the compounds linked to a hangover are products of alcohol fermentation called congeners. Congeners are found in larger amounts in dark liquors, such as brandy, whiskey, darker beer and red wine, than they are in clear liquors, such as vodka, gin and lighter beers. One particular congener — methanol — breaks down into the toxins formaldehyde and formic acid, which can worsen a hangover.
Several studies have investigated hangovers, but none has found an effective method of hangover prevention. While lighter colored drinks may slightly help with hangover prevention, drinking too many alcoholic beverages of any color will still make you feel bad the morning after. Drinking large amounts of alcohol can cause dehydration, low blood sugar, digestive irritation and disturbed sleep — all factors that lead to hangover symptoms.
The only sure way to prevent a hangover is to drink in moderation or not drink at all. Moderate drinking is considered two drinks a day if you're a man and one drink a day if you're a woman. A drink is defined as 12 ounces (355 milliliters) of beer, 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine or 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of 80-proof distilled spirits.
Be careful, though — some drinks may contain more alcohol than you realize. Often drinks are larger at bars and restaurants. And, some drinks of the same size may contain more alcohol than others. For example, many dark beers contain a significantly higher percentage of alcohol than do lighter beers, and some liquors contain a higher percentage of alcohol than do others.Next question
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- Prat G, et al. Alcohol hangover: A critical review of explanatory factors. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental. 2009;24:259.
- Verster JC. The alcohol hangover — A puzzling phenomenon. Alcohol & Alcoholism. 2008;43:124.
- Howland J, et al. The incidence and severity of hangover the morning after moderate alcohol intoxication. Addiction. 2008;103:758.
- Beyond hangovers: Understanding alcohol's impact on your health. National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Hangovers/beyondHangovers.htm. Accessed Oct. 5, 2011.