A vital ingredient of curry prevents alcohol-related liver disease, a study of rats has found.

Curcumin, the substance that gives the spice turmeric its distinctive yellow colour, stopped the changes caused by excessive alcohol consumption that lead to liver damage.

The research adds to the repertoire of benefits already shown by curcumin, which include anti-oxidant properties and anti-cancer activity. However, the research does not mean that people eating curries can safely drink more alcohol, warns Kalle Jokelainen, one of the team of Finnish and American researchers.