Everything You Need to Know about Alcohol's Effects on Probiotics

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Drinking alcohol can have an impact on the probiotic bacteria in your gut microbiome. Heavy alcohol use over time can kill off many important gut bacteria. While taking a probiotic while drinking may not cause a bad interaction, such as when someone takes medications and drinks, it is still counterproductive.

You’ve probably heard it before “be careful taking this medication with alcohol” or “don’t drink when you’re on this medication.”

Drinking alcohol when taking medications can have detrimental side effects, so it’s a natural question to ask. However, people don’t usually ask this question when taking supplements. For the most part, there's a good reason. Many dietary supplements deliver the same compounds to the body that you would get through food which usually isn't impacted by alcohol use.

When it comes to probiotics, the story is a little different.

Probiotics are living bacteria that help perform essential tasks in your gut. With that, they support many critical processes in the body, including healthy digestion, nutrient absorption, immune function and even cognition. These bacteria are very sensitive to things like temperature, acidity and humidity.

This begs the question: How does alcohol consumption impact the good bacteria living in the gut, and what are alcohol’s effects on probiotics?

In this blog post, we’ll explore how consuming alcohol affects gut health, and whether you should consume probiotics when drinking alcohol.

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How Consuming Alcohol Affects Gut Health

Alcohol is quite toxic for the body. It impacts the central nervous system, digestive tract, blood sugar levels, the circulatory system and the immune system, to name a few. The liver - the body’s waste processing system - has to work overtime to clear the toxins from alcohol out of the body. Excessive alcohol consumption is therefore often related to liver damage.

Alcohol, especially large amounts and high concentrations, can overwhelm the gastrointestinal tract. The alcohol kills many of the beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines.

Our body needs these bacteria as they support a healthy gut microbiome and many critical processes. When the amount of good bacteria in the gut decreases, this leaves room for bad bacteria, viruses and fungi to flourish, and can lead to pathogen overgrowth. This is also called dysbiosis. If unresolved, dysbiosis can lead to inflammation in the gut.

If the gut barrier is inflamed, it can break open and become “leaky”, which is commonly referred to as leaky gut. Potentially harmful bacteria and chemicals you take in via your food can now enter the bloodstream. This marks the start of a vicious cycle of an overly active immune system and inflammation throughout the body.

Therefore, it makes sense that dysbiosis has been associated with several chronic illnesses, including Type 2 diabetes, depression and mood disorders, and even memory function.

Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Probiotics?

In principle, yes. Unlike with some over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs, taking probiotics when you’ve had a glass or two to drink doesn’t pose any harm.

However, it compromises the efficacy or your probiotic supplement because alcohol not only kills the good bacteria in your intestines, it also kills the probiotic bacteria in your supplements.

The amount of alcohol you drink also affects the impact it has on your probiotics. An alcoholic beverage here and there won’t hurt, whereas drinking multiple glasses of alcohol per night has more profound effects on your gut flora, your liver, and your overall well-being.

Another factor to consider is what time you take your probiotics. It’s best to take probiotics as far away as possible from drinking alcohol. This spacing out allows the probiotic bacteria to reach the intestines and to reproduce there.

If the probiotic bacteria encounter large amounts of alcohol in your stomach and the intestines, they may not survive the journey from your mouth through the digestive system. Instead, the beneficial gut bacteria will be killed off by the high amounts of alcohol in your body.

So, our advice to mitigate the effects of alcohol on your gut microbiota: If you know that you’re having a drink tonight, take your probiotic supplement in the morning or at lunchtime to see optimal probiotic benefits.

Also, don’t forget to take your probiotics the next day to counteract any negative effects the alcohol may have had on your gut flora.

Taking a high-quality probiotic supplement supports your overall gut health if you occasionally drink. Probiotic supplementation replenishes the good bacteria in the gut, which helps maintain a healthy bacteria diversity. This is necessary for overall digestive health, proper immune function, cognition, and much more.

https://www.omnibioticlife.com/landing-page-i-omni-biotic-hetox-diabetes/In addition, clinical evidence has shown that probiotics can restore gut flora and improve liver enzymes in alcohol-induced liver injury. OMNi-BiOTiC® HETOX was specifically designed to support liver function by supporting the gut-liver axis.

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Finding the Right Probiotics For You

Probiotic supplements consist of different beneficial bacterial strains, often including a mix of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. These strains perform different functions in the body, and many work best in teams. That’s why it’s so important to find a probiotic that is tailored to your specific health needs.

For example, if you frequently experience yeast infections and urinary tract infections, you likely need different probiotic bacterial strains compared to someone who has leaky gut and high levels of inflammation.

At OMNi-BiOTiC, our products are formulated with specific health challenges in mind. Each probiotic strain is extensively studied, tested and mindfully combined prior to market introduction. Starting with strain analysis, progressing to clinical trials and concluding with an innovative powder formulation that ensures high efficacy.

To find the best probiotic supplement for your health goals, we invite you to take our product fit quiz.

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