In case people needed another reason to drink beer, researchers from the National University of Singapore have developed an alcoholic beverage that contains probiotics — “good bacteria” that benefit digestion and improve immunity.
The probiotic-rich beer is the first in the world to offer such benefits as normally, hop acids (which every beer contains) kill off probiotics before the product finishes fermenting. Fortunately, researchers were successful in their mission to create a dairy-free probiotic-rich beer that contains the strain Lactobacillus paracaseiL26. As IFLScience reports, this probiotic is already found within the human gut and has been found to regulate the immune system.
Said Chan Mei Zhi Alcine, who developed the beer: “For this beer, we used a lactic acid bacterium as a probiotic microorganism. It will utilise sugars present in the wort to produce sour-tasting lactic acid, resulting in a beer with sharp and tart flavors. The final product, which takes around a month to brew, has an alcohol content of about 3.5 percent.”
Though doctors rarely – if ever – recommend beer to patients, the development could have positive implications as the beneficial bacteria may reduce the negative effects of consuming alcohol. At the very least, the probiotics could support healthy microflora balance. Additionally, this beer may end up being the only source of probiotics for some people, as a larger percentage of individuals in developed nations still consume unhealthy diets despite having abundant access to fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and leafy greens.
The researchers have already taken out a patent on the probiotic-rich beer to stop others from copying the recipe. Ultimately, the goal is to produce and sell the beer commercially.
Image Credit: National University of Singapore