With the world starting to open up again and catching up with friends and family at the forefront of our to-do lists, alcohol will inevitably make an appearance at some point
The impact of alcohol on the liver is a topic most of us are well acquainted with, but what about the impact of alcohol on the gut?
We asked expert and nutritionist at ProVen Probiotics Adrienne Benjamin to explain how we can minimise the negative effects of drinking alcohol by taking good quality supplements.
How can alcohol effect the gut?
Alcohol affects our digestive system in a number of ways. Depending how regularly we drink it over the longer-term, one or two regular glasses of wine after work might be having a larger impact than we think!
Adrienne explains: “Occasional alcoholic drinks may cause a temporary imbalance in our gut bacteria, as they provide sugar for the more pathogenic bacteria species.
“They also need to be detoxified in our liver and can impact bile production, which is vital for digestion.
“Alcoholic drinks may also lead to more common conditions such as heartburn and can aggravate pre-existing conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).”
Whilst occasional alcohol use can take its toll on the gut, excessive alcohol consumption can have far worse effects.
“Excess alcohol intake can lead to ongoing dysbiosis (gut bacteria imbalance) and potentially to conditions such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and stomach ulcers.
“It may also impact the lining of the digestive tract, causing irritation, increased permeability and inflammation.”
How can a good quality supplement help restore your nutrients after drinking?
“When we drink alcohol, our body requires extra nutrients to support digestion, detoxification and the additional stress.
“The key nutrients to support these elements include the following:
- Probiotics to replenish the friendly bacteria species and mitigate the effects of dysbiosis caused by the alcohol
- Antioxidants to help ‘mop-up’ potentially damaging chemicals produced in the metabolism of the alcohol
- Vitamin C, B vitamins, zinc and magnesium, all of which are specifically depleted by alcohol
- Omega-3 oils to protect cells that might be impacted by the effects of alcohol, particularly brain cells.
“Together, these four supplements provide optimum levels of key nutrients to help support diet and replenish nutrients that have been lost due to alcohol intake, poor diet or simply used by our body in its day-to day activity supporting health, balance and wellbeing.”
ProVen Probiotics has recently introduced the supplement, Four Pillars of Nutrition, which includes each of the above elements.