Alcohol & the gut

By The Gut Health Doctor Team

Dr Megan Rossi in a lab looking through a microscope
Ever felt pretty rotten after just one glass of wine, yet your friend can have half a bottle or more and feel just fine? If you’re gearing up for a boozy bank holiday weekend, this one’s for you!
There are a bunch of reasons why people can respond differently to alcohol…
  •  Intolerances to some of the components within the drinks, like histamine and sulphites
  • Intolerances to the alcohol itself
  • The gut-liver axis & our unique GM (gut microbiota, the trillions of microbes living inside us)
Keep in mind most of these commercial intolerance tests are invalid! So it’s best to see a registered dietitian.
The gut-liver axis is a pretty new concept – the two-way relationship between the gut and the liver (just like the gut-brain axis). Drinking alcohol disrupts this gut-liver communication.
Our gut microbes help to metabolise alcohol – and as the specific mix of gut microbes we each have in our gut is unique to every one of us, this can influence how we each respond too.
When it comes to alcohol, to look after your gut microbes…
  • It’s a good idea to take it easy with alcohol
  • Consider switching every second alcoholic drink for something refreshing like kombucha
  • Try sticking to two standard drinks in a day
  • And of course feed them plenty of fibre-filled plant goodness


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