Recently, there has been quite a bit of press coverage about the possibility of asparagus being a cure for hangovers. On first glance, I was rather skeptical, but decided to look into the matter just to be fair. The basis for the “Asparagus Hangover Cure” is one study out of Korea in which an extract of asparagus leaves was used on cells in a petri dish.
The initial results may have suggested some promise in the area of hangover prevention. However, those initial results are not very encouraging as a preventive measure since the study was never applied to humans. I found the actual scientific study and thought it was an interesting scientific study, but there are years more research necessary before a conclusion can be reached.
One downside of asparagus is that it contains a substance that dehydrates you (a diuretic called asparagine,) which can make a hangover worse, as dehydration is a significant component of hangovers. Ever wonder why your pee smells after eating asparagus? Well, it is the asparagine turbo-charging your kidneys to pee out more water. Dehydration causes headache, nausea, and dizziness. Furthermore, asparagus contains very little of the antioxidant, glutathione, that is the component touted to improve hangovers. So, the significant dehydration component greatly outweighs the tiny amount of antioxidants contained in asparagus. Asparagus definitely falls into the “myth” category of hangover cures.