What You Need To Know About Digestive Enzymes and Alcohol
Digestive Enzymes and Alcohol
Imbibing in a glass of wine, beer or cocktail is woven into our culture for better or worse. With that said, we all know that a cocktail habit isn’t always a recipe for health.
Now, we’re not hating on an occasional glass or two, but you may be interested in why your body rebels the day after a boozy night.
Alcohol, especially in excess, can mess with the balance of beneficial bacteria in your GI tract, causing intestinal inflammation. It can affect how your body breaks down nutrients, irritate the gut, and speed up the digestive system.
What does this all mean to you? Simply put, your body may respond with various digestive issues, including diarrhea, constipation, and worse.
We decided to explore this topic further, checking in with some trustworthy sources. Keep reading for the details and how to support your gut before and after a night on the town.
Sadly, any amount of alcohol can disrupt the microbiome by slaying healthy gut bacteria, like Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.
“Alcohol can also directly damage the cells lining the GI tract, leading to inflammation and loosening how tightly the intestinal cells fit together,” explains Dr. Maria Vila, in The Complete Guide to Gut Health.
The doctor says this scenario makes it more likely that the compounds in the GI tract could leak into the bloodstream and infect or damage tissues throughout the body (AKA leaky gut).
We know this is getting a little complex, but stick with us, and we’ll unpack …
How Alcohol Affects Enzymes
Here’s a crash course. Your body is pretty impressive, producing thousands of different types of metabolic and digestive enzymes. And, yes, some of the foods you eat can also supply enzymes.
Your body cannot properly metabolize or digest food without these go-getters. Period. And, spoiler alert, alcohol doesn’t play nice with your digestive enzymes.
Alcohol consumption can change how efficiently your body breaks down foods and toxins, resulting in all kinds of health complications.
When you imbibe, the alcohol is absorbed from your small intestine into the veins carrying blood to your stomach and bowels. During this time, ethanol, the active ingredient in alcohol, is sent to the brain, activating the intoxicating effects.
After your stomach and bowels completely absorb the glass of cheer, it is carried to your liver for further metabolic breakdown, where it is met by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzymes.
These enzymes are responsible for breaking down the toxic properties of alcohol for later elimination. Your body is ridding itself of these toxins, and those enzymes are getting a workout, and not working as efficiently as you might hope for.
As mentioned earlier, alcohol irritates the gut, causing inflammation in the intestinal lining, which stops your gut from properly absorbing nutrients as well as usual. Anything that your body cannot absorb will pass through the gut and out of the body as waste.
No wonder you suffer from gut upset the morning after!
What Can Help
Not to be a downer but cutting back may be a good idea for a variety of important reasons.
But if when you’re considering your drink, you might opt for red wine. Research says that those who drink a moderate amount of red wine have better gut health.
However, don’t start drinking to gain gut health benefits, experts caution.
So, what if you’re a moderate, time-to-time drinker who’d like to minimize the accompanying digestive fall out?
First, plan ahead by committing to lots of hydration before, during and after.
Then get your digestive support BFF on deck. Digestive Enzymes, from Zenwise, can help bump up key enzymes that your body needs. In fact, it’s proven that replenishing digestive enzymes is crucial to healing and rebuilding a less than optimal intestinal lining (AKA leaky gut).
Remember to get support before you sip with Digestive Enzymes.