Drinking 4 standards alcoholic drinks in one sitting significantly increases levels of toxic lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in the blood (1).
These endotoxins are produced by normal shedding of their cell walls by gut bacteria. LPS are so damaging to health that a number of studies have been published in the last few years establishing a direct link between blood levels of LPS and insulin resistance, liver inflammation and other metabolic changes that result in type 2 diabetes (2).
LPS have also been found to trigger insulin resistance in the brain – the first step towards degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
There is no doubt in the scientific literature that acute alcohol intake causes leaky gut, depresses your immune system so that your antiviral defences are ineffective and fat accumulation in the liver – a major cause of mortality in the west.
If you have MTHFR genetic polymorphisms it is imperative that you never binge drink as your detoxification capacities can be gravely impaired.
If you’re planning a lot of drinking this festive season I would ask you whether it’s really worth it. If the answer is still yes (why are you following this page???), I’d urge you to support your gut lining and microbiome by increasing your intake of fibre, particularly oligo-saccharides like FOS found in garlic, onions, artichokes and asparagus and mucin-increasing herbs like slippery elm and marshmallow. A good mucin layer in our gut wall is essential to provide shelter to our good bacteria.