Asparagus May Help Prevent Hangovers

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CHICAGO—If you are thinking of raising a few glasses of bubbly to ring in the New Year you might want to nosh on some asparagus before the party gets started. A study published in the Journal of Food Science suggests amino acids and minerals found in asparagus extract may alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells against toxins.

Chronic alcohol use causes oxidative stress on the liver as well as unpleasant physical effects associated with a hangover. 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.

“Cellular toxicities were significantly alleviated in response to treatment with the extracts of asparagus leaves and shoots," said lead researcher B.Y. Kim. “These results provide evidence of how the biological functions of asparagus can help alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells."

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