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Cognac, brandies or Calvados, these “digestives” are appreciated at the end of the meal because they are known to help eliminate excess and feel less heavy. “For a long time, researchers thought that alcohol could help digestion”explain the Futura Sciences website. But now, time has passed, science has progressed.
So is this belief still relevant today?
The answer is no ! In fact, digestives could even make digestion worse. In question ? The secretion of gastrin, an enzyme essential for proper digestion, is blocked following alcohol intake. However, the latter is supposed to secrete gastric juices “whose role is to transform food into nutrients, thus allowing their passage through the intestines. Acidity is reduced, the mobility of the stomach is on hold, in short, digestion slows down.underlines Slate media.
But that’s not all. Alcohol also increases the number of calories, particularly because of its high sugar content. Added to this, with eating a large meal, your liver is very heavy and will be put under even greater strain. So there’s nothing good in that.
NorthShore Medical Group gastroenterologist in Chicago Andrew Moore explains au site EatingWell that the effects of these alcohols are not proven: “There isn’t really any direct evidence to support that digestives help with digestion.”. However, a study has proven their negative impact on the body and in particular on the liver.
To find out if alcohol has a negative effect on digestion, people were invited to taste a Savoyard fondue. They were then split into three groups: the first drank three glasses of white wine or a small glass of schnapps as a digestive, the second took tea and the third stayed with water.
Verdict? Those who drank alcohol during and especially after the meal took up to 9 hours to digest it compared to 6 hours for others who drank water.
We cannot say that digestives have no effect on the body. It is possible to have a feeling of lightness after consumption. Already thanks to the placebo effect but also because “alcohol has a vasodilator effect, so it will distend the stomach and provide a short-term feeling of well-being if the stomach is a little tense from a good meal”explains hepatologist Victor de Lédinghen, to our colleagues at Release.
Therefore, it is better to avoid drinking a digestive. We advise you to focus on tea, especially black tea, since in the previous study the participants who opted for this hot drink digested their fondue in just three hours. Ultimately, this drink is perhaps the best digestive for the holidays!