"Beer belly" now has a whole new meaning, thanks to researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS). They developed a probiotic beer that can help boost the immune system, at the same time promote a healthy stomach.
Chan Mei Zhi Alcine, an undergraduate researcher at NUS, said that while good bacteria can be found in fermented food, there are no beers in the market that contain probiotics. This is because the hops used in beer create an actually hostile environment for probiotics.
Developing sufficient counts of live probiotics is challenging due to the hop acids in beer. But with its tartness, the important strain -- Lactobacillus paracasei L26 -- the new beer they developed could help regulate the immune system and neutralize toxins and viruses. This could also add a sharp and tarty flavor to the drink.
Civilized noted that Chan's supervisor in her research, Dr. Liu Shao Quan, said the project is perfect for the growing craft beer movement that has become popular today in health-food trend. The final product developed by Chan is said to take about a month to brew and has an alcohol content of about 3.5 percent.
The brew is not only supposed to improve immunity but even assists with gut health. However, as National Geographic noted, the claim is yet to be proven. As it noted, probiotics are usually found in dairy products like yogurt. Beer with probiotics would be a game changer -- especially for those who enjoy their regular drink.
Probiotics are also said to be prescribed to those who are taking antibiotics, so that their guts can restore their natural content. If the drink does prove to be healthier, this will be well-received by beer drinkers who can now enjoy their beers and be healthy as well.
If and when these healthy brews make it to the shelves, the researchers may also have to patent their probiotic beer recipe. So it seems that the project could not only help people be healthier but it could rake in money as well.