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A protective probiotic blunts the ill effects of alcohol in mice

Date: 14.4.2023 

Excessive alcohol consumption leads to painful hangovers and accompanying headaches, fatigue and nausea. Drinking alcohol has also been linked to a raft of health problems in the human body, including heart disease, cirrhosis and immune deficiency.

Kredit: Jiang et al. (2023), Microbiology Spectrum.One way to avoid those consequences would be to drink less, but researchers in China have introduced another way to mitigate hangovers and other adverse outcomes – a genetically-engineered probiotic.

Researchers described their approach and reported that in experiments on mice, the treatment reduced alcohol absorption, prolonged alcohol tolerance and shortened the animals' recovery time after exposure to alcohol. The probiotic hasn't yet been tested on humans, but the authors predicted that if it confers the same benefits, it could present a new way to reduce alcohol-induced health problems, and liver problems in general.

Meng Dong, Ph.D, at the Chinese Academy of Science's Institute of Zoology, who worked on the study, noted that clinical applications may extend beyond alcohol-related conditions. "We believe that genetically engineered probiotics will provide new ideas for the treatment of liver diseases," she said.

The next step, Dong said, is to investigate whether the potential therapeutic effect of the modified probiotic extends to humans. "We are excited about the improvement of recombinant probiotics in acute alcohol-induced liver and intestinal damage," Dong said.

Image source: Jiang et al. (2023), Microbiology Spectrum.





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