MADRID, Aug 9 ― The gut is sometimes referred to as the second brain, as it's now known that the two organs are so connected that their relationship can influence our emotions. Now, it also seems that intestinal microbiota could have a role to play in our alcohol consumption.

One little drink, and then another, and why not one more... you might be only too aware that your alcohol consumption is high. And while we learn to drink in moderation and how to say no to another glass, in reality, it could be more complicated for some people ― especially if the composition of their intestinal microbiota echoes findings from researchers at Spain's Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). Indeed, the scientists have discovered that a certain gut microbiota profile could influence our behaviour towards alcohol.

As part of their investigations, they interviewed 507 young volunteers who not only answered questions about their drinking habits but also provided faecal samples. These samples were used to situate them on the Bristol Stool Scale, a visual diagnostic tool that classifies human faeces into seven families. Bacteriological samples were also taken. This organic evidence could then be compared with the same samples from volunteers who did not drink alcohol.

When male rats were transplanted with faecal samples from alcohol-dependent animals, their voluntary intake of alcoholic substances was found to be increased. On the other hand, when the rats were given a dose of antibiotics, which act by preventing the development of bacteria, the scientists were able to reverse the trend and reduce alcohol consumption.

The bacteria responsible for shaping the intestinal microbiota of heavy drinkers have yet to be precisely identified. However, the Spanish scientists believe that these recent discoveries already make it possible to consider probiotics, prebiotics and also symbiotics as effective treatments for alcohol-induced intestinal disorders.

In 2018, American researchers previously found a link between alcohol and the microbiota of the mouth. Women who consumed more than two drinks per day and men who consumed more than three drinks per day differed from non-consumers by the proliferation of “bad” bacteria in the mouth, some of which could alter the health of the gums, among other things. ― ETX Studio