Drinking to ring in the New Year may leave many suffering with the dreaded hangover. According to a 2009 study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the amino acids and minerals found in asparagus extract may alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells against toxins.
Researchers at the Institute of Medical Science and Jeju National University in Korea analyzed the components of young asparagus shoots and leaves to compare their biochemical effects on human and rat liver cells. "The amino acid and mineral contents were found to be much higher in the leaves than the shoots," says lead researcher B.Y. Kim.
Chronic alcohol use causes oxidative stress on the liver as well as unpleasant physical effects associated with a hangover. "Cellular toxicities were significantly alleviated in response to treatment with the extracts of asparagus leaves and shoots," says Kim. "These results provide evidence of how the biological functions of asparagus can help alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells."
Asparagus officinalis is a common vegetable that is widely consumed worldwide and has long been used as an herbal medicine due to its anticancer effects. It also has antifungal, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.
- B.-Y. Kim, Z.-G. Cui, S.-R. Lee, S.-J. Kim, H.-K. Kang, Y.-K. Lee, D.-B. Park. Effects of Asparagus officinalis Extracts on Liver Cell Toxicity and Ethanol Metabolism. Journal of Food Science, 2009; 74 (7): H204 DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01263.x
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