After weeks of holiday parties and more holiday cookies, the inevitable happens. Commit to doubling down on leafy greens and cutting out alcohol until January.And it’s all fine, but there’s no real understanding of it why While we’re making these behavioral changes (beyond joining the dry January craze), they’re unlikely to be lasting, positive changes. It’s a truth we all know by now. If you don’t set a clear intention first, you can get lost. That’s why when I learned about the relationship between alcohol and gut health, I knew it would help me stick to my decision not to drink.
Of all the buzzwords in health, no one captures the health consciousness more than gut health. It affects everything from our skin to our immunity to our digestion. But we are increasingly finding that drinking habits play an important role as well.
featured image Christy Graham.
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Alcohol and Gut Health: A Surprising Connection
I was contacted for answers to all our questions regarding the link between alcohol and gut health. Dyna Trout, MS MPHDiana is Chief Mission Officer and Co-Founder. Health-Ade Kombucha (A favorite of all of us here at Camille Styles). she speaks widely written Since we were talking about alcohol and how it affects your gut, we thought she would be the perfect person to clear the air.
Keep reading to learn how much alcohol is okay to drink, how alcohol can weaken our immune system, and strategies to combat alcohol consumption and keep your gut healthy. Let’s go in.
Do you have an acceptable amount of alcohol?
Studies have shown that drinking more than two servings of alcohol on average for just a few days can produce meaningful and negative changes in your gut. There is a significant increase in pathogenic and inflammation-causing bacteria and a significant decrease in infection and inflammation-fighting bacteria. It also reduces the overall microbial load, increases intestinal permeability, and disrupts circadian proteins. From increased susceptibility to illness and digestive problems, to sleep disturbances and joint pain.
I really enjoy alcohol, but excessive alcohol consumption is probably the most unhealthy thing for your microbiome.
On the other hand, research shows that alcohol doesn’t do as much damage to a healthy gut if you drink no more than two drinks a week and only about twice a week. It might be your sweet spot if you’re looking! The most important thing here is to listen to your body. All of these studies were done on groups of people, so the results are averages and may not be your numbers. In general, drinking less is good for everyone. But because you may be more or less sensitive than average, we always say:
What is the reset effect of Dry Janua’s body?
Like Dry January, the long-term benefits of abstaining from alcohol have not been well studied. But most people would probably agree that on February 1st he wouldn’t be a bad idea if he didn’t overcompensate with 10 drinks. A sake that you can enjoy without drinking too much.
Immunity is another top priority at this time of year. How does alcohol affect or even impair our immunity?
Alcohol, immunity and gut health go hand in hand. We now understand that immunity is highly dependent on our microbiome. Our bodies may have some bacteria that reduce our ability to fight infections and some that make them stronger. It supports the composition of the microbiome, which is weak to fight. Alcohol also damages the intestinal wall, widens the space, allowing toxins of all kinds to enter the body and cause problems where they land. , lowers our immunity not only in the short term.
Similarly, winters tend to be low and many people experience seasonal affective disorder. How does alcohol consumption make this worse?
One of the biggest factors that influence our mood (if not THE) is our gut. A rich and healthy microbiome has repeatedly been associated with people feeling better about themselves and reducing depression and anxiety. The opposite is true. It may not surprise you to hear that the main side effects of excessive alcohol consumption are depressed mood and low energy, as excessive alcohol consumption adversely affects the intestines and allows the wrong microorganisms to grow.
Is there a way to counteract alcohol consumption and its effects on the gut?
You can improve your gut health by exposing your gut to healthy bacteria, high doses of prebiotics, and avoiding anything that harms your gut.
- Feed your gut with a variety of high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables.
- Eat and drink fermented foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir regularly.
- Avoid alcohol, stevia, fake sugar, and anything else that seriously undermines it.
Also, be careful to take antibiotics only when necessary. This is also one of the reasons he hurts the microbiome and it can take him a year to recover.
What’s your favorite alcohol substitute?
Not surprisingly, one of my favorite alternative alcohols is kombucha. It is delicious, tangy and slightly sweet. I love champagne and I think it’s the perfect alternative drink when you’re feeling something frothy, especially in a flute!