Envision a situation where you could prevent hangovers long before they even commence. A new product aims to resolve the dreaded issue for those who indulge in an evening of social drinking.
San Francisco-based ZBiotics founded a probiotic beverage that breaks down acetaldehyde, a harmful byproduct of alcohol metabolism that causes distress to your body and results in those unpleasant symptoms after a night out. This product, as per the company, is crafted to “aid in alleviating post-alcohol discomfort.”
Under the leadership of CEO and Founder Zack Abbott, who holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Michigan, and Dr. John Oliver, vice president of research and development, ZBiotics was established in 2016 and has developed a revolutionary probiotic through a uncomplicated, four-step process aimed at preventing hangovers.
“ZBiotics employs the power of microbes, which are minute organisms such as bacteria and yeast while utilizing probiotic bacteria with verified advantages for your body,” expressed Ari Stiegler, an investor in ZBiotics and managing partner at Flux Capital. “The company’s initial product encompasses an enzyme that breaks down an undesirable byproduct of alcohol consumption.”
To formulate the probiotic, the scientists behind ZBiotics utilized a process known as “homologous recombination,” which Stiegler elucidated is an innovative genetic engineering tool.
“Homologous recombination utilizes a find-and-replace DNA functionality in which scientists select the sought-after characteristic they intend to introduce to the bacteria—in this scenario, an enzyme that breaks down acetaldehyde—and create a piece of DNA that encodes that desired trait and is flanked by stretches of DNA identical to that in the bacteria’s own chromosome,” Stiegler stated. “The DNA for the new trait is swapped in for the DNA to be replaced. It is as simple as that.”
The probiotic bacteria in ZBiotics are recognized as B. subtilis ZB183, which is found in supplements and fermented foods, including kombucha. It has the innate ability to produce enzymes in your gut.
“This makes it ideal for preventing hangovers,” Stiegler noted.
The strain formed by ZBiotics’ scientists underwent stringent safety measures, including years of laboratory testing by top food toxicologists, and “over a series of tests, we observed that it was very effective in producing this enzyme,” the ZBiotics website states.
Stiegler, whose venture capital firm invests in a plethora of technologically innovative businesses, is motivated by the progress made by ZBiotics and is enthusiastic about the possibility of engineering probiotics to enhance human health.
“I anticipate witnessing how far this company pushes the boundaries in the years ahead,” Stiegler expressed. “ZBiotics’ team of scientists has already demonstrated what can be achieved when endeavoring to address an everyday issue people encounter. I commend the way they have utilized genetic engineering to enhance people’s lives in tangible, real ways.”