Digestive schnapps is counterproductive

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Schnapps has an adverse effect on digestion

Schnapps is not suitable for stimulating digestion. Although digestive schnapps is particularly popular after greasy meals such as Christmas feasts, according to medical experts, it does not show the name's promised effect. In fact, the schnapps could even have a negative effect on digestion, according to a Swiss study from 2010.

In their study, the Swiss researchers were able to show that schnapps does not help improve digestion, but that alcohol actually interferes with digestive activity, reports the news magazine "Spiegel Online". The scientists assume that the alcohol blocks the nerves of the stomach muscles and that digestion is therefore slower. Accordingly, a schnapps after eating is not advisable from the point of view of digestion.

Alcohol slows digestion The Swiss study was only based on a sample of 20 test subjects, but the researchers came to a relatively clear result. They let the study participants eat a hearty cheese fondue that, with its 32 percent fat content, posed a particular challenge for digestion. Some participants received black tea for dinner, others drank 300 milliliters of wine. After the cheese fondue there was schnapps or water. According to "Spiegel Online", the result was clear. With increasing alcohol consumption, digestion decreased continuously. Even the wine slowed down the emptying of the stomach significantly. If the subjects drank an additional digestive schnapps, the digestion was slower.

Bitter substances with a positive effect On the causes of the observed effect, director of the Helios Clinic for Gastroenterology in Wuppertal, Christian Prinz, told Spiegel Online that "the stomach is (in principle) a large muscle that pumps continuously and the food in." Emptied towards the intestine. ”The alcohol would probably block nerves that stimulate the stomach to pump, the specialist continues. "I am a real enemy of schnapps after eating", emphasized Prinz and added: "In general, I don't see a positive approach to health with high-proof alcohol." A walk after eating is recommended, but espresso can also be a problem due to the bitter substances it contains develop a positive effect.

Aperitif more recommendable than digestive schnapps However, according to the doctor, some alcoholic beverages actually have a beneficial effect on digestion. The ingredients, the amount and the time of taking play an important role. For example, "a sherry before a meal" or a port wine, a Pils beer and some types of Prosecco are recommended as an aperitif. The bitter substances contained would stimulate special cells in the gastric mucosa to release acid, which promotes digestion or simplifies the pre-digestion of the food. The alcohol contained plays no role in this effect. An espresso has basically the same effect as far as the bitter substances are concerned, explained the stomach specialist. Here, however, the espresso could possibly have an adverse effect on the sense of taste. This may also apply to an aperitif, which is why Prinz advises you to take it half an hour before eating. "Then the taste evaporates again until you eat, and you can enjoy the dish without restriction," explained the expert.

Walk instead of digestive schnapps Instead of using an aperitif or digestive schnapps to try to stimulate the digestion, if the feeling of fullness is a leisurely walk after a hearty meal, the stomach specialist explained further. Because this helps to empty the stomach faster. According to Prinz, "the movement of the abdominal wall probably has a direct influence on the pacemaker cells in the stomach", which in turn determine the rhythm with which the food is transported towards the intestine. (fp)

Image: Tim Reckmann / pixelio.de

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