If you’re taking probiotics, you might be wondering if it’s safe to drink alcohol while taking them. The answer might surprise you: drinking alcohol while taking probiotics won’t necessarily have any negative interactions, but it may kill off the bacteria in the probiotic. In this blog post, we’ll look at the effect that alcohol has on the gut, and how this impacts taking probiotics. So let’s dive in and see what the research says about whether you can drink alcohol while taking probiotics.
The Effect Of Alcohol On The Gut
Alcohol is a known irritant to the gastrointestinal system and can affect the gut in several ways. Alcohol increases inflammation in the gut, which can lead to symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea (1). Additionally, alcohol can damage the mucosal lining of the digestive tract, leading to an increased risk of developing chronic gastritis (2). Moreover, regular alcohol consumption can trigger flare-ups for those suffering from Crohn’s Disease or Colitis (3).
The Effect Of Alcohol On Gut Bacteria
Alcohol also affects the balance of bacteria in the gut. Drinking alcohol can reduce the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut, as well as increase the number of potentially harmful bacteria (5). An imbalance in gut bacteria can lead to symptoms such as bloating, gas, and constipation. In some cases, it can also lead to an increased risk of chronic inflammation, autoimmune diseases, fatigue, and food intolerances (6), (7), (8), (9).
Alcohol And Probiotics
Consuming alcohol while taking probiotics can harm the beneficial bacteria in the probiotic, just as alcohol affects bacteria in the gut. Although it may not cause adverse reactions, it may impair the probiotic’s effectiveness. Nonetheless, you may still enjoy some of the probiotic’s advantages if you are careful to space out the probiotic and alcohol. The quantity of alcohol you consume is also significant, as light to moderate drinking will have a less damaging impact on the beneficial bacteria in the probiotic (and your gut) than heavy alcohol consumption. Conversely, a study on rodents concluded that probiotics may actually help reduce the changes in gut bacteria caused by alcohol consumption (10).
Alcohol With The Benefits Of Probiotics
Achieving the full advantages of probiotics may not require eliminating alcohol entirely; you may only need to alter the type of alcohol you consume. Red wine contains natural compounds called polyphenols, which have been demonstrated to have a positive impact on the composition of the gut microbiome (11), (12). It is important to note, however, that these benefits are only seen with moderate consumption – excessive alcohol intake can have adverse effects on your health.
Which Probiotic Is Right For You And Your Lifestyle?
If you’re someone who enjoys the occasional alcoholic beverage, you want to make sure that you choose a powerful probiotic of the highest quality that will deliver optimal results. Go for a probiotic that contains 10 different strains of live bacteria, as well as 25 billion CFU, both of which are indicators of a well-researched and potent probiotic. Additionally, find a probiotic that also contains a prebiotic to help support the growth of healthy bacteria.
So, Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Probiotics?
While probiotics and alcohol might not mix well, it’s important to note that drinking while taking probiotics won’t necessarily cause negative interactions. However, alcohol can kill off the good bacteria in the probiotics, which can negatively impact your gut health. The good news is that you can still get some benefits from your probiotics if you make sure to space them out from your alcohol consumption and drink in moderation. If you’re a red wine lover, you might be in luck, as it contains natural compounds that can support a healthy gut. Just remember, excessive alcohol intake can be detrimental to your health.
When selecting a probiotic supplement, be sure to look for ones that contain at least 10 different strains of live bacteria and a minimum of 25 billion CFU to ensure their effectiveness, like Approved Science® Probiotic.
If you’re still unsure about which probiotic is right for you, you can check out Approved Science® Probiotic Review.