Zbiotics wants to become part of your Saturday night routine.
The company’s first product launched Thursday and is aimed at mitigating the negative consequences felt after a night out drinking.
“This is science, not science fiction,” Zack Abbott, Founder and CEO of Zbiotics told Cheddar on the day of the launch. “It’s a probiotic that is genetically engineered to break down one of the toxic byproducts of drinking alcohol.”
That byproduct is acetaldehyde. Abbott, who has a Ph.D. in Microbiology, explained that while the human liver is exceptional at breaking down the acid, Zbiotics can give your body a head start on this process.
“The idea is that you take this product, and it gets into your gut, and it really moves the functionality of your liver... into your gut, where all the acetaldehyde is initially formed,” Abbott said.
Zbiotics price is like adding another cocktail to your bar tab. The bottles range from $9 to $12 depending on how many you buy. Printed on the Zbiotics label is the phrase “Proudly GMO,” another point that Abbott says sets the product apart.
“Today is actually a monumental day,” Abbott said. “It’s the first-ever genetically engineered probiotic to be released on the market. We wanted to make sure consumers had access to that technology.”
Zbiotics is not FDA-approved. Abbott said the decision to circumvent that process was the desire to get the product out sooner.
“Had we gone through clinical trials to get FDA approval as a drug, that would’ve delayed us by several years and tens of millions of dollars,” Abbott said. “We’ve done extensive safety testing to ensure that as a new product, it’s safe for consumption.”
After beta testing Zbiotics with “thousands of people” and receiving “overwhelmingly positive” feedback,” Abbott wants to make clear that it isn’t a free pass to binge drink.
“Zbiotics is not meant to replace the responsible drinking habits,” Abbott said. “Zbiotics is really meant to address an aspect of alcohol metabolism that has yet to be addressed with current remedies.”
Healthy drinking habits include not drinking on an empty stomach, getting plenty of sleep, drinking water, and pacing yourself. Abbott said that these natural solutions have been available throughout human history and it was time “that science stepped in.”