Many people love a night out with some alcoholic drinks, and their effects are known to many of us, and scientific studies have shown that tomatoes can protect the liver and brain from damage caused by alcohol consumption.
While moderate alcohol consumption may be beneficial to long-term health, excessive alcohol consumption is certainly not.
Tomatoes will not help with the traditional effects of the hangover, a person who has drunk a lot at night will also suffer headache, dizziness and bloodshot eyes after the big night, but research shows that tomatoes can protect your brain and liver from the ravages that alcohol causes in these organs.
Tomatoes help you reduce liver damage
A person who consumes a standard measure in the United States can consume 14 grams of alcohol. This equates to 12 ounces of normal beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled alcohol, such as vodka containing 40 percent alcohol.
Enzymes in the liver break down the alcohol we drink. This causes oxidative damage to liver cells and generalized inflammation.
A study by Dr. Xiang-Dong Wang, director of the nutrition and cancer biology laboratory at the Friedman School of Nutrition Sciences at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and his team, conducted a study on the effect of tomatoes on laboratory rats who have been exposed to alcohol.
Experiments in rodents have used the equivalent of 100 grams of alcohol consumption, which is about 7 standard alcoholic beverages daily for 4 weeks. This mimics the chronic and excessive consumption of alcohol in humans.
Researchers have tested three different tomato products:
tomato powder, which is nutritionally equivalent to whole tomato
tomato extract, containing only fat soluble components
purified lycopene, which is the red pigment that gives tomatoes their color and a known antioxidant
Tomato powder reduced the effects of alcohol damage in more than 90 percent of the rats.
These results are very similar to results obtained by previous studies, the study also revealed that lycopene alone does not prevent damage to the liver, however, an interesting fact is those whole tomatoes are the key.
However, the liver is not the only organ affected by the alcohol we drink.
How many tomatoes do you need if you have drunk a lot of alcohol?
In Dr. Wang’s study, the team used tomato powder at a concentration equal to a 70-kilogram man consuming 12.46 milligrams of lycopene per day. Average consumption in the US is about 9.4 milligrams per day.
But the authors explained that it is necessary to consume four medium tomatoes, or one third of a cup of tomato sauce daily to reach levels like those used in their study.
The best way to avoid the harmful effects of alcohol is, of course, to refrain from drinking it.
However, if you want to live a hard night and enjoy a drink or two, then a daily dose of tomatoes could help protect your liver from the harmful effects of alcohol.