If you’re like many Americans, as well as citizens all around the world, you’ll be spending the end of this year the same way you began this year, and the same way you’ll start next year. Drunk, drunk, drunk. New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest party nights of the year, and when people don’t play their cards just right, New Year’s Day proper can be one of the most miserable. Be better than that this year. Start making your resolutions with a clear head, as you sip your tequila sunrise.
Okay, so this first part isn’t new news or anything. For a 2009 study in the Journal of Food Science, researchers from the Institute of Medical Science and Jeju National University in Korea studied the effects of asparagus shoots in leaves on the liver cells of humans and rats. Cellular toxicities in the liver caused by alcohol use were noticeably assuaged when treated with extracts from the asparagus leaves and shoots. The amino acids, plus other mineral content, in the leaves were significantly higher than those in the shoots. Lead researcher B.Y. Kim said, “These results provide evidence of how the biological functions of asparagus can help alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells.”
While I did read this a few years ago, I had no recollection of it until stumbling onto the story again. So I obviously don’t even have the anecdotal quasi-evidence to back it up. I might just start cooking some tonight to get an early start. But wait, there’s more!
That was the good news, and this is either bad or indifferent news, depending on how you mix your vices. A study to be published in the January 2013 edition of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs states that smoking tobacco while drinking may indeed worsen the next day’s hangover. Granted, this was an Internet survey of 113 college students, who reported daily on drinking and smoking habits for a period of eight weeks, so there’s a chance some of the facts may be fudged. But even so, they’d probably say they were drinking less, which doesn’t do anything to change the outcome.
“At the same number of drinks, people who smoke more that day are more likely to have a hangover and have more intense hangovers,” claims researcher Damaris J. Rohsenow, Ph.D., from the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. After ruling out other factors, such as drug use, researchers found smoking at all was linked to a larger risk of getting a hangover than it was for non-smokers.
Besides being unpleasant for the person’s health and wellness, a hangover can severely inhabit someone’s attention span or stimulus response. So the risks extend to everyone who has to deal with you that next day. So do us all a favor, would you? Make your piss smell like a disaster: eat some asparagus and chew some nicotine gum while you’re drinking.