Effects of multi-species probiotic supplementation on alcohol metabolism in rats

J Microbiol. 2021 Apr;59(4):417-425. doi: 10.1007/s12275-021-0573-2. Epub 2021 Mar 29.


Probiotics are known to protect against liver damage induced by the alcohol and acetaldehyde accumulation associated with alcohol intake. However, there have been few studies of the direct effect of probiotics on alcohol metabolism, and the types of probiotics that were previously analyzed were few in number. Here, we investigated the effects of 19 probiotic species on alcohol and acetaldehyde metabolism. Four probiotic species that had a relatively high tolerance to alcohol and metabolized alcohol and acetaldehyde effectively were identified: Lactobacillus gasseri CBT LGA1, Lactobacillus casei CBT LC5, Bifidobacterium lactis CBT BL3, and Bifidobacterium breve CBT BR3. These species also demonstrated high mRNA expression of alcohol and acetaldehyde dehydrogenases. ProAP4, a mixture of these four probiotics species and excipient, was then administered to rats for 2 weeks in advance of acute alcohol administration. The serum alcohol and acetaldehyde concentrations were significantly lower in the ProAP4-administered group than in the control and excipient groups. Thus, the administration of ProAP4, containing four probiotic species, quickly lowers blood alcohol and acetaldehyde concentrations in an alcohol and acetaldehyde dehydrogenasedependent manner. Furthermore, the serum alanine aminotransferase activity, which is indicative of liver damage, was significantly lower in the ProAP4 group than in the control group. The present findings suggest that ProAP4 may be an effective means of limiting alcohol-induced liver damage.

Keywords: alanine aminotransferase; alcohol; alcohol dehydrogenase; aldehyde dehydrogenase; hangover; probiotic.

MeSH terms

  • Acetaldehyde / blood*
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase / genetics
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Alcohol Drinking / metabolism
  • Aldehyde Oxidoreductases / genetics
  • Aldehyde Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Bifidobacterium animalis / genetics
  • Bifidobacterium animalis / metabolism
  • Bifidobacterium breve / genetics
  • Bifidobacterium breve / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Ethanol / blood*
  • Lacticaseibacillus casei / genetics
  • Lacticaseibacillus casei / metabolism
  • Lactobacillus gasseri / genetics
  • Lactobacillus gasseri / metabolism
  • Male
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • Ethanol
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase
  • Aldehyde Oxidoreductases
  • aldehyde dehydrogenase (NAD(P)+)
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Acetaldehyde