August 14, 2009

Asparagus extract may ease hangovers

Asparagus extract may ease hangovers and protect the liver against toxins found in alcohol, researchers in South Korea said.

Asparagus, a common vegetable used worldwide, long has been known for its antifungal, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.

Building on that knowledge, researchers at the Institute of Medical Science and Jeju National University in South Korea analyzed the effects of young asparagus shoots and leaves on liver cells from humans and rats, lead researcher B.Y. Kim wrote in the Journal of Food Science.

The amino acid and mineral contents were found to be much higher in the leaves than the shoots, Kim said.

Together, however, in an extract, the leaves and shoots significantly eased alcohol's oxidative stress on liver cells and the toxic effects associated with a hangover, Kim said.