Created on: January 01, 2013
If you have been hitting the beers a little too hard, then the chances are that you will appreciate how unpleasant a hangover can be. Most people seem to have their own idea about the perfect hangover cure, with suggestions ranging from streaky bacon to lavender water and even, of course, to the tried and tested hair of the dog. Now, scientific evidence indicates that the green vegetable asparagus may be the most unlikely candidate so far to be a suitable hangover cure.
Research published in the Journal of Food Science, by Korean researchers, has reported that the vegetable contains high levels of special enzymes, which can break down the alcohol content in the human body. A hangover is unpleasant enough, but not the most serious side effect of drinking too much alcohol, but the good news is that scientists believe that asparagus can prevent the more serious implications of drinking too much alcohol too.
As ethanol breaks down in the body, it produces a metabolite called acetaldehyde, which is toxic, particularly in the liver. The two enzymes found in asparagus, called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) quickly metabolize the ethanol in your favorite tipple into a non-toxic acetate. Scientists found that by adding asparagus extract to liver cells in the laboratory, the asparagus was found to be high in amino acids, which stimulated the enzyme functions. The formal study did not include a trial, but the scientist behind the research conducted an informal trial separately, where volunteers who drank a drink containing asparagus extract found that they had fewer hangover symptoms.
Of course, consumers probably will not have access to any kind of asparagus-based beverage to lay their hands on, nor will they always have a bunch of fresh spears to munch on to get rid of a hangover. For the time being, however, a more sensible suggestion might be to incorporate a generous portion of asparagus as part of a large meal before a big night out on the beers. Eating on a full stomach is almost certainly guaranteed to lessen the likelihood of a bad hangover, and asparagus has plenty of other health benefits too.
According to the American Holistic Health Association, asparagus is a good source of folate, beta carotene and potassium. It is also a powerful antioxidant, which means that it is a good idea to consumer asparagus whether you intend to drink alcohol or not.
Of course, if the asparagus does not work (or you just cannot bear the taste) then there are other reported all-natural hangover remedies. A glass of water with a dash of salt and a dash of sugar just before bed could help, or how about a mustard bath? Maybe the asparagus does not sound so bad, after all?
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Study says asparagus could prevent hangovers