Did you know that the bacteria in your gut help you metabolise alcohol?
This is one of the many reasons why we all tolerate alcohol in different ways. If you have less of this specific bacteria, it will effect how well your body can detoxify alcohol. In excess, alcohol can inhibit the production of digestive enzymes and juices, meaning it becomes more difficult for your body to breakdown, digest and absorb nutrients from your food. Partially digested food can cause excessive fermentation in your gut (say hello bloating, gas and loose stools).
Excessive alcohol consumption can cause inflammation in your gut, which can result in the wall of your gut lining becoming more ‘permeable’ or you may see ‘leaky gut’. Chronic alcohol consumption may result in bacterial overgrowth and dysbiosis and a change in the overall composition of your gut microbiota.
Let’s not forget about the day after the night before. Excessive alcohol can increase your desire to consume processed foods (yep, we’ve been there too many times). Highly processed foods can wreck havoc on your gut microbiome.
It isn’t all bad news, red wine contains powerful polyphenols, which your gut bugs love. BUT too much will outweigh the benefits of those gut loving polyphenols.
Dr Gautam Mehta – liver specialist
One way to stop a hangover is to slow down your drinking, helping to ensure that the enzymes metabolising the alcohol can keep pace, and acetaldehyde doesn’t accumulate.