We've all heard of alcohols affect on the liver, but what about the gut?
Here's a balanced viewpoint...
Like many things in life, moderation must be practiced - when consumed in excess, alcohol can lead to increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut), inhibit digestive enzyme production, cause inflammation, and finally, result in an imbalance of bacteria in the gut (dysbiosis, which is the most common cause of gut issues) - providing an environment where the "good" bacteria don't thrive, and the "bad" bacteria proliferate (multiply).
Hence, it comes as no surprise that alcohol is the first thing I recommend eliminating if you suffer from digestive issues - it's that simple. If you truly suffer and are serious about making long-term changes, it needs to go for a period of time. When I had IBS I didn't drink a drop for over a year - that's the sacrifice that was required. (There really are no two ways about it)
However, I understand the desire to consume it and now consume it myself. My personal belief is that, if you are not suffering from a health concern that permits otherwise, it can be consumed in moderation at your own discretion.
Be sensible, be self-aware, make smart choices, and pick your moments - and as always, develop a lifestyle that you never feel the need to cheat on.
So if you are going to consume it, which form is best for your gut?
Here's my hierarchy...
Best: Red wine, dry white wine, cider
Medium: Rosé, non-flavoured spirits (vodka, gin, whisky, tequila, etc.).
Worst: Beer, flavoured spirits/liqueurs