Drinking to ring in the New Year may leave many suffering with the dreaded hangover. According to a 2009 study, the amino acids and minerals found in asparagus extract may alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells against toxins.
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," says lead researcher B.Y. Kim.
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 Kim. "These results provide evidence of how the biological functions of asparagus can help alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells."
Asparagus officinalis is a common vegetable that is widely consumed worldwide and has long been used as an herbal medicine due to its anticancer effects. It also has antifungal, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.
The above story is based on the December 26, 2012 news release by Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).
The research was published in the Journal of Food Science:
Kim BY, Cui ZG, Lee SR, Kim SJ, Kang HK, Lee YK, Park DB. Effects of Asparagus officinalis extracts on liver cell toxicity and ethanol metabolism. J Food Sci. 2009 Sep;74(7):H204-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01263.x.
Click HERE to read the full article.
Why Your Pee Smells Funny After Eating Asparagus
Researchers believe that, during digestion, the vegetable's sulfurous amino acids break down into smelly chemical components in all people. And because those components are "volatile," meaning airborne, the odor wafts upward as the urine leaves the body and can be detected as soon as 15 minutes after you eat this spring delicacy.
But only about one-quarter of the population appears to have the special gene that allows them to smell those compounds. So the issue isn't whether or not your pee is smelly; it's whether you're able to smell it. If you smell a funny fragrance in your urine after you eat asparagus, you're not only normal, you have a good nose.