Gut bacteria might discourage binge drinking

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A study published in Microbiome found that valeric acid, a substance produced by gut bacteria, reduced binge drinking in mice, opening a new avenue for treating alcohol abuse. Binge drinking increases the risk of alcohol addiction, with one out of three young Europeans and North Americans engaging in this behavior. The gut microbiome and the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) were found to influence drinking patterns. Mice fed valeric acid drank significantly less alcohol, had lower blood alcohol levels, and exhibited reduced anxiety-related behaviors. The study suggests that valeric acid may be effective in treating alcohol dependence in humans.

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