Is There a Nutritional Cure for Alcoholism?
There is a theory that alcoholism is caused by a craving for the
that are in natural fermented products but destroyed by commercial
alcohol production. So, paradoxically, the theory is that the
nutritional cure for alcholism is to drink normal amounts of real ale
or other naturally fermented beverage (and foods). It's only a
theory because, unfortunately, it's one of the "forbidden
experiments". You can't give a recovered alcoholic any kind of alcohol
to see if they can tolerate it. However, there was one woman who asked
an online nutrition group if there were any alcohol in kombucha, as her
recovered alcoholic husband liked the kombucha she brewed and was even
getting an alcoholic buzz from it but it was not triggering any desire
to have more than normal amounts. It is very likely to assume that real
ale will not send a recovered alcoholic back to an uncontrollable
compulsion to drink more, but it is an assumption or decision that
everyone has to make for themselves.
Sally Fallon in
her book "Nourishing Traditions" says:
"We offer the theory that the craving for
both alcohol and soft drinks stems from an ancient collective memory of
the kind of lacto-fermented beverages still found in traditional
societies. These beverages give a lift to the tired body by supplying
mineral ions depleted through perspiration and contribute to easy and
thorough assimilation of our food
by supplying lactobacilli, lactic-acid and enzymes."
Alcohol slows the formation of plaque, is an anti inflammatory,
improves's your body's response to insulin.
former alcoholic, now dry, wrote to me to tell me that he had tried to
drink alcohol in moderation to see if he could return to a normal
lifestyle, but failed. He then went on to say that he drank kombucha.
Kombucha contains small amounts of alcohol. I believe that this is
because alcohol made naturally will not send someone with problems with
alcohol back into alcohol dependency.
Kombucha, kefir and kvass all have trace amounts of alcohol. If there
is an objection to giving homebrewed ale to an alcolholic, those could
at least supply the nutrients without the large quantity of alcohol.
Why Alcohol is a
Full-array alcohol is a natural, living product. Every cell in your
body makes alcohol.We couldn't live without it. It's how the cell gets
energy, and the endocrine system uses the alcohol to synthesize
hormones. But alcohol made by living cells is full-array and alive. It
has all the component parts needed for the body to use it. Commercial
alcohol is dead. That's what aging does. It makes it stale, rancid,
putrid. They throw away all the good parts and leave only the dead
alcohol, which may as well have been made in a chemistry lab, it's so
sterile.Not only is it not good for your body to use, but in order to
process it, it has to deplete your other resources.
fermented drinks are a
very revered part of most traditional cultures. There are many rich
communal traditions centered around alcohol and even the altered mental
Alcohol and children
Ben Franklin said he drank ale for breakfast as a child. The idea of
not giving weak fermented beverages to children is a fairly modern one.
As far as I can tell, it started about 1900, which is also the time
when, by an amazing coincidence, the force-carbonated commercial soda industry
Slightly alcoholic fermented beverages are also a very traditional
drink. Kefir, water kefir, kombucha (0.5-1.5% alcohol according to
wikipedia), corn beer and small beer have all been daily drinks in
different cultures throughout history. In moderate amounts like the
amounts in these drinks, even when drunk daily, alcohol is just a
nutrient molecule like any other flavor compound in other foods. To get
the equivalent amount of alcohol in a can of lager you would need to
drink 24-48 oz of kefir or 30-90 oz of kombucha - in the amount of time
it would take to drink one beer. Most of us just aren't doing that.
I certainly don't advocate giving your children hard liquor or even
something as alcholic as lager beer I personally am not concerned about
the amount of alcohol in mixed yeast/bacteria fermentations like
kombucha and kefir. If you are really worried, then use whey to ferment
your ginger ale.
Alcohol is an essential nutrient. If we do not ingest alcohol in our
food, our bodies will manufacture it for us. We cannot function without
it. Real ale, when drunk soon after brewing, contains B and C
vitamins, complete protein (from the brewers' yeast) and the microbes
our digestive system needs to help us digest our food.
raw-brewed ale is a live,
fresh food. It contains as much vitamin C as orange juice. And, like
orange juice, it will lose its vitamins as it gets older. Put real ale
in the fridge as soon as it has carbonated and then drink it as soon as
possible to get the most nutrition out of it.
Why then, if this food is, or was, so nourishing, and people have lived on it
for thousands of years, do people become addicted to it to the point of
letting it destroy their lives?
Real ale is good food. Commercial beer is the drug that is derived from
One theory is that alcoholics crave the nutrients that should be in
alcohol but have been destroyed by the processes of commercial brewing.
As this theory goes, their bodies sense the tiny amounts of these
nutrients in the commercial alcohol and are driven to take in more. If
you've ever been on a diet, you may be familiar with the process by
which our bodies seem to take over and make us ingest food that our
minds tell us we shouldn't have.
denatured alcohol, not only are you missing the nutrients that should
be in it, but your body must draw on those nutrients from its other
resources in order to process the alcohol. The more you drink, the more
deficient you become in the nutrients that ought to accompany alcohol,
making you crave alcohol all the more.
I believe that if alcoholics drank real ale, they would just stop being
"alcoholics" once their bodies had gotten all the nutrients from it
that were missing in commercial alcohol. Unfortunately, there have
never been any studies to test this theory, and, given the power of the
commercial brewing industry, I doubt there ever will be.
I cannot tell you, therefore, that it is OK for recovered alcoholics to
drink real ale, as it would not be ethical, but if you are in the
position of being the main food provider
for someone who is an alcoholic and who has no intention or desire to
stop drinking, you could make real ale and provide the alcoholic with it
and, at the very least, save money over what he or she would buy
commercially, and provide some valuable nutrients to the person in the
process. Whether the person will drink less or not when supplied with
real ale remains to be seen, but, if they're going to be drinking
anyway, there is no reason not to give it a try.
It has been suggested that dandelion tea given to
alcoholics will help alleviate some of the health conditions associated
Please e-mail me if you have any experience giving real ale to a
compulsive drinker and what happened afterwards.
So far, I have heard from several former alcoholics who say they are
able to drink and enjoy kombucha with its alcoholic content and it does
not make them want more alcohol.