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Why your gut's not a fan:
True, it's not food, but alcohol can be bad for your gut too. Just one episode of binge drinking (for women, that means consuming 4 or 5 drinks within two hours) can cause bacteria to leak out of your gut into your bloodstream, found a 2014 study in PLOS One
. The effect was more pronounced in women than in men, and it could lead to inflammation throughout the body. "It's not going to kill anyone immediately, but over time, this low-grade inflammation can predispose you to chronic diseases," says study author Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
How to fix it:
Moderate drinking, meaning 1 drink per day for women, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is your best bet for avoiding the potential negative effects of alcohol.