Today’s Headlines: Hangover Cures, Peanut Butter and Loud Noises

Is Sprite the cure for your hangover woes?: Bubbly drinks may help you recover after overindulging in alcohol, a new study shows. Researchers “tested 57 different beverages including Huo ma ren (a hemp-seed based beverage), various teas and different carbonated drinks.” They found that Sprite and soda water were most effective at speeding up the breakdown of acetaldehyde, a chemical byproduct of alcohol that is thought to cause hangover symptoms. Interestingly, they also found that many herbal teas may actually slow down this process, potentially making hangovers worse. (CBS News)

‘Peanut butter’ test can help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, researchers find: According to a group of Florida researchers, “a dollop of peanut butter and a ruler can be used to confirm a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer’s disease.” Because the sense of smell is “often one of the first things to be affected in cognitive decline,” researchers measured the distances at which people could detect the scent of peanut butter. They found that people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease had significantly impaired sense of smell in the left nostril, compared to the right. They believe this simple test can be used to confirm an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and may be used in the future to predict who might develop the common disease. (ScienceDaily)

Aircraft noise linked to higher risk of heart disease and stroke: If you live near an airport, you might want to buy some earplugs. Two separate studies from Britain and the U.S. have found that “exposure to high levels of aircraft noise near busy international airports has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and strokes.” The British study showed that loud aircraft noise raised risk by about 10-20%, and the U.S. study found that “zip codes with 10 decibel (dB) higher aircraft noise had a 3.5 percent higher cardiovascular hospital admission rate.” (Reuters)