Bloody good for you
Posted by ampontan on Monday, December 24, 2012
FROM the front lines of scientific research in Japan comes some news that you can use for the holidays. Two pharmacologists, Oshima Shunji of the Asahi Lab Garden and Aizawa Koichi of Kagome, conducted a study that found the combination of alcohol and tomato juice stimulates the metabolism with the effect of accelerating sobriety and reducing or preventing hangover symptoms.
Dr. Oshima said the inspiration for the research came from his desire to enjoy after-work drinks with his colleagues and his knowledge that too much booze was bad for you. He wanted to discover what food consumed with alcohol had the most beneficial effects, and decided to start with vegetables.
After finding that vegetables didn’t do a whole lot, they said they thought of using tomatoes. Drinkers’ wisdom has it that tomatoes either prevent or quickly cure hangovers. Then there were the examples of the Bloody Mary and the Red Eye, which I had never heard of before reading this report.
The researchers started by giving the water-soluble constituents of tomatoes — i.e., tomato juice — and lycopene to mice, injected them with alcohol, and then measured the concentration of alcohol in their blood. The results inspired them to try a similar experiment with humans.
They give 12 healthy men tomato juice with 5% alcohol, and then shochu with 5% alcohol. Their measurements showed the tomatoes reduced the concentration of alcohol in the blood by 30%, accelerated the process of breaking up the alcohol in the body, and eliminated it from the system 50 minutes faster.
Those with the proper scientific detachment will be interested to learn that the water-soluble constituents of tomatoes activate the enzymes that break up the alcohol in the liver.
Everyone else will be interested to learn that Dr. Oshima’s employer makes Asahi beer, and Dr. Aizawa’s employer Kagome is a food product company whose primary products include tomato juice and catsup.
The two companies jointly sponsored the research. They were already very familiar with each other because they finalized a mutual shareholding agreement in February.
Now who says scientific research is dry!
Looks like these Tomato-chans knocked back a few Asahis before filming started.