Health-Conscious Beer Lovers Rejoice — Probiotic Beer Is Here

You may have heard about the potentially-damaging impact alcohol can have on the digestive system and gut biome. You may have heard you're supposed to add add probiotics to your daily diet. You may have heard that your gut health will be better off if you don't drink alcohol at all (or keep it limited to sugar-free spirits such as vodka or gin, or dry wine).

Now, researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) are making it possible for even the most gut-flora conscious to have their beer and drink it, too. Raise a glass to the new craft beer containing probiotics.

Your Own Personal Microbiome

The human digestive tract naturally contains over 400 types of microorganisms, including bacteria and yeasts, known collectively as the "gut microbiome." While it sounds pretty weird, when things are going well, the "friendly" bacteria protect the body by keeping the harmful bacteria and yeasts in check. The good guys even strengthen the intestinal lining and immune functions within the body.

Despite its power, the gut microbiome is quite sensitive to threats. To gut bacteria, dangers include dietary changes, sickness, medication, or stress. Any of these things can lead to gut dysbiosis: an imbalance in bacteria that can create a slew of GI symptoms such as bloating, constipation, mood swings, weight changes, and the vividly-named leaky-gut syndrome. To support good bacteria and ward off these health issues and more, many doctors and health experts recommend that people regularly consume live probiotics in the form of supplements, foods such as kimchi, miso, and yogurt, or drinks such as kefir and kombucha.

Associate Professor Liu Shao Quan (left) and Miss Chan Mei Zhi Alcine (right) from the Food Science and Technology Programme at NUS created a novel probiotic beer that boosts immunity and improves gut health.

Drink to Your Health!

The National University of Singapore's probiotic-laden beer is the brainchild of Chan Mei Zhi Alcine, a fourth-year Food Science and Technology student who regularly consumes probiotic beverages herself. She and a professor spent nine months developing a recipe for optimal taste and probiotic-counts per serving. Although there are many different kinds of probiotic strains, they chose Lactobacillus paracasei L26 for the beer for its ability to regulate the immune system and neutralize toxins. On top of that, the bacterium adds to the tart flavor of the beer by turning sugar into a sour-tasting lactic acid.

The creators are so confident in their brew that they've already applied for a patent. With any luck, you could soon unwind from a long work week with a glass of beer that actually improves the situation in your stomach.

Probiotics - Good For You?

Written by Jamie Ludwig July 18, 2017

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