Doctors and other medical professionals have long claimed there's no such thing as a hangover cure, but a study from 2009 suggests that the vitamins and minerals in green vegetables like asparagus could mediate the toxicity that alcohol inflicts on your liver during a night of drinking.
Supposedly this is an old wives tale (I've never heard it though).
The study authors write in the abstract:
Asparagus officinalis is a vegetable that is widely consumed worldwide and has also long been used as a herbal medicine for the treatment of several diseases. Although A. officinalis is generally regarded as a supplement for the alleviation of alcohol hangover, little is known about its effects on cell metabolism.
They study found that the leaves of the asparagus plant are chock full of antioxidants and minerals that, at least in the lab, seem to alleviate the toxicity of alcohol on the liver cells. The enzymes that metabolize alcohol and it's nasty byproducts (aldehyde, which creates hangovers) also worked harder when they were exposed to asparagus extracts.
All of the studies were performed in the lab, so there's no way to know yet if there are actual real-world effects of eating the green spears.
But hey, the vegetables are good for you anyway, so why not! Other than the funky pee smell, that is.
They don't mention if you should be taking in the vegetable before, during or after the drinking. Based on what they are saying the mechanism is, I'd say it could have a positive impact either way, though it might be the best if taken before.
The study was published in the Journal of Food Science, in September of 2009. It's making the news now because of a press release from the Institute of Food Technologists, released Dec. 26.
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