Seoul: Asparagus, a common vegetable, may alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells against toxins, researchers claim.
Amino acids and minerals found in asparagus may prevent a hangover, according to researchers at the Institute of Medical Science and Jeju National University in South Korea.
They analysed 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," said 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," Kim said in a statement.
"These results provide evidence of how the biological functions of asparagus can help alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells," Kim added.
Asparagus officinalis 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 study was published in the Journal of Food Science.