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Effects of Alcohol & Eating

December 20, 2010

(Ivanhoe Newswire) ““ It’s reassuring to know that while eating that hearty Christmas dinner and drinking a glass of wine, digestion will be slowed, but there will be no symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, belching, and bloating, according to this study.

In order to determine the effects of alcohol on the digestive system when rich meals are consumed, investigators at the University Hospital of Zurich, led by Dr Mark Fox now at the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham, studied 20 individuals who either drank wine or black tea with cheese fondue followed by cherry liqueur or water as a digestive after the famous Swiss dish.

Fox and colleagues were quoted as saying that while they concentrated on fondue the results of their research “can be generalized to address the wider issue of alcohol’s effects on digestion and digestive comfort after any large, rich meal of the kind we all enjoy over the festive season”.

Twenty healthy volunteers (14 male and six female) aged between 23 and 58 took part in the study. None of the participants had a history of alcohol misuse or stomach disease. They had an average body mass index (BMI) of 23.6 and none were taking prescription medicine.

The participants were tested on two days at least one week apart. Half of the group drank white wine with their fondue and the other half drank black tea. This was followed by a cherry liqueur digestive (schnapps) or water 90 minutes later.

The research team used established scientific breath tests to assess the effects of alcohol consumption on the digestive system.

The results show that the process of digestion was much slower in the group that drank alcohol with their fondue. However, the results also demonstrate that alcohol did not contribute to an increase in indigestion problems such as heartburn, belching and bloating.

“Healthy readers should be reassured that they can continue to enjoy this traditional meal with the beverage of their choice without undue concern about postprandial digestive discomfort,” the authors were quoted as saying.

SOURCE: British Medical Journal, published online December 19, 2010




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