Koreans nominate asparagus as a super hangover cure

A.M. Costa Rica file photo
One would probably want to skip the white wine.

New Year’s Eve is the night of the amateur drinkers, so New Year’s morning can be a grim time for them.

But help is on the way. The Institute of Food Technologists says it has an antidote to hangovers.

The amino acids and minerals found in asparagus extract may alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells against toxins, it said. Asparagus also has antifungal, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties, said the institute.

The original work by the Institute of Medical Science and Jeju National University in Korea saw publication in 2009. But the institute dusted off the summary and issued it as a press release in anticipation of all that excessive drinking next Monday night.

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 B. Y. Kim, the study’s lead author. “These results provide evidence of how the biological functions of asparagus can help alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells.”

Having a steaming plate of asparagus Tuesday morning would seem to be a pleasant alternative to some of the other hangover remedies, which run from raw eggs to a bloody mary.

The famed Mayo Clinic said that as a general rule, the more alcohol someone drinks, the more likely he or she is to have a hangover the next day. But there’s no magic formula to tell you how much an individual can safely drink and still avoid a hangover, it said.

However unpleasant, most hangovers go away on their own, though they can last up to 24 hours, said the clinic, urging individuals to drink responsibly.

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