Oral Administration of Alcohol-Tolerant Lactic Acid Bacteria Alleviates Blood Alcohol Concentration and Ethanol-Induced Liver Damage in Rodents

J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2024 Apr 28;34(4):838-845. doi: 10.4014/jmb.2312.12040. Epub 2024 Jan 18.


Excessive alcohol consumption can have serious negative consequences on health, including addiction, liver damage, and other long-term effects. The causes of hangovers include dehydration, alcohol and alcohol metabolite toxicity, and nutrient deficiency due to absorption disorders. Additionally, alcohol consumption can slow reaction times, making it more difficult to rapidly respond to situations that require quick thinking. Exposure to a large amount of ethanol can also negatively affect a person's righting reflex and balance. In this study, we evaluated the potential of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) to alleviate alcohol-induced effects and behavioral responses. Two LAB strains isolated from kimchi, Levilactobacillus brevis WiKim0168 and Leuconostoc mesenteroides WiKim0172, were selected for their ethanol tolerance and potential to alleviate hangover symptoms. Enzyme activity assays for alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) were then conducted to evaluate the role of these bacteria in alcohol metabolism. Through in vitro and in vivo studies, these strains were assessed for their ability to reduce blood alcohol concentrations and protect against alcohol-induced liver damage. The results indicated that these LAB strains possess significant ethanol tolerance and elevate ADH and ALDH activities. LAB administration remarkably reduced blood alcohol levels in rats after excessive alcohol consumption. Moreover, the LAB strains showed hepatoprotective effects and enhanced behavioral outcomes, highlighting their potential as probiotics for counteracting the adverse effects of alcohol consumption. These findings support the development of functional foods incorporating LAB strains that can mediate behavioral improvements following alcohol intake.

Keywords: Alcohol consumption; alcohol-induced liver damage; hangover; hepatoprotection; lactic acid bacteria; probiotics.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase* / metabolism
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Aldehyde Oxidoreductases*
  • Animals
  • Blood Alcohol Content
  • Ethanol* / metabolism
  • Fermented Foods / microbiology
  • Lactobacillales* / metabolism
  • Leuconostoc mesenteroides
  • Levilactobacillus brevis / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Probiotics* / administration & dosage
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Ethanol
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase
  • Blood Alcohol Content
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase
  • aldehyde dehydrogenase (NAD(P)+)
  • Aldehyde Oxidoreductases