If you take herbal supplements or over-the-counter tablets as a way to fight indigestion, then the following story may be for you, particularly if you like a glass of beer or wine every now and then. According to research conducted at Switzerland’s University Hospital of Zurich, alcohol may slow digestion, but it doesn’t cause gas, bloating or cramping.
The Swiss team announced their finding in the British Medical Journal. To come to this conclusion, they used a seemingly unorthodox method. They fed 20 people large amounts of fondue, and waited.
Half of the study’s participants were given wine and cherry liqueurs during the large, cheese-based meal, while the other half drank tea and water with their fondue. Scientists found that those who consumed alcohol with a heavy meal tended to digest their food more slowly.
However, a breath-based test found that, on average, those individuals who drank wine and liqueurs did not have any more indigestion, gas, belching or bloating than people who abstained from alcohol.
These findings may be pleasant surprise for those under the impression that alcohol is to blame for chronic indigestion, a problem that Johns Hopkins Health Alerts say is responsible for 70 percent of gastrointestinal complaints.