Alcohol And Probiotics Together – Is It Dangerous To Mix Them?

Drinking alcohol in a bar

In this post we are going to be sharing studies that shows how alcohol consumption may change the composition of the gut microbiome, and then explain whether you can take probiotics and alcohol together at the same time.

We will also share briefly why drinking too much alcohol can eventually lead to a condition called “leaky gut syndrome” which could result in you needing to cut down on the booze, and take probiotic supplements to try and heal the damage.

Alcohols Effect on The Microbiome

Alcohol abuse has been linked to changes in the composition of the gut microbiome and these changes, known as dysbiosis. This imbalance could lead to a variety of health problems, like inflammation, oxidative stress, and the accumulation of fatty acid ethyl esters. Research from ScienceDirect has shown that alcohol consumption can directly alter the composition of the gut microbiome by decreasing the abundance of beneficial bacteria and increasing the abundance of harmful bacteria shows Alcohol’s true effect on gut health.

This may lead to an increased risk of diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and colorectal cancer that require probiotic supplementation. This is because alcohol metabolism produces a toxic substance called acetaldehyde, which has been linked to the development of alcohol-associated diseases.

Alcohol Can Cause Leaky Gut Syndrome

Alcohol abuse has been linked to the development of leaky gut syndrome, also known as intestinal permeability, because the intestinal barrier, which is responsible for preventing the passage of harmful substances from the gut into the bloodstream, becomes damaged. If this happens then the intestine can allow bacteria and other toxins to enter the bloodstream, triggering an immune response and leading to inflammation.


Alcohol consumption has also been shown to promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestine, particularly Gram-negative bacteria. These bacteria produce toxins called endotoxins, which can damage the intestinal barrier and increase its permeability. Alcohol metabolism also produces a toxic substance called acetaldehyde, which can further increase permeability by damaging the proteins that make up the tight junctions which are critical for preventing leaky gut issues.

So, to sum everything up, alcohol-induced generation of nitric oxide may contribute to increased permeability by damaging the microtubules that make up the cytoskeleton of the intestinal barrier. This can lead to a breakdown of the barrier, allowing endotoxins and other harmful substances to pass through more easily.

Closing Thoughts: Can You Take Probiotics and Alcohol?

It is possible to drink alcohol while taking probiotics, but it may compromise the effectiveness of the probiotics. This is because alcohol kills the good bacteria in the intestines, including the probiotic bacteria in the supplements.

The amount of alcohol consumed, and the timing of the probiotic intake can also affect the impact on the gut microbiome. It is best to take probiotics as far away from alcohol consumption as possible and to continue taking them the next day to counteract any negative effects.

High-quality probiotic supplements can still support overall gut health if alcohol is consumed in moderation, but more research is needed, and this blog post does not contain medical advice.