ZBiotics FAQ

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Email us: support@zbiotics.com


Drinking ZBiotics

How do I drink it?
  1. 1) Drink ZBiotics.
  2. 2) Enjoy your night.
  3. 3) Get some sleep.

Drink ZBiotics before or during drinking – the earlier the better. Just give it a shake and drink the whole thing. The probiotics are designed to become active while you drink and while you sleep, helping your body digest acetaldehyde as they’re passing through your gut. Then they simply leave your body after a day or two, without changing your body or impacting your microbiome. Boom. A happier, healthier you, thanks to ZBiotics.

What's the dark stuff at the bottom of the bottle?

It's the good stuff.

It's just the natural sedimentation of the probiotic and the flavoring that happens if the bottle is left resting for a while. Just give it a couple shakes to re-suspend and you're good to go.

Is ZBiotics flavored? What is its consistency?

The flavor is mild and earthy. If you've had ZBiotics before, you may notice that there is a new slightly bitter aftertaste; it's a result of a new manufacturing process we've implemented to improve the product.

The texture is just like water. The probiotic should make the liquid slightly cloudy unless it settles in the bottle. So give it a shake and watch all the ingredients mix together before drinking.

Has the flavor changed?

If you’ve had ZBiotics before, you may notice that there is a new bitter aftertaste. It's a result of a manufacturing process change we implemented to improve the product.

The ingredients in the product are exactly the same, but we switched to using a method of concentrating our bacteria that uses heat (spray drying) instead of cold (freeze drying).

While this new process allows us to concentrate the bacteria more efficiently and retain more live probiotic during the process, it also had the consequence of changing the flavor of one of the residual amino acids from our fermentation process (specifically lysine – a natural and essential amino acid found in basically any food that contains protein), giving it a bitter taste.

Most importantly, it does not affect the ability of the bacteria to break down acetaldehyde at all. We've extensively tested the product from this new batch and it performs as well as – if not slightly better than – previous batches.

There's actually some pretty interesting science behind it. Read more about it in this blog post, and if you're interested, please don't hesitate to respond with questions!

What is acetaldehyde?

Acetaldehyde (pronounced “asset” + “AL” + “duh” + “hide”) is a chemical we most often experience as a byproduct of alcohol metabolism. It’s linked to lots of unwanted effects on our bodies, but most commonly it’s associated with the rough feelings you get the day after drinking.

When we drink, our bodies break down alcohol in 2 steps. First: from ethanol to acetaldehyde. Second: from acetaldehyde to acetate (essentially vinegar). The first reaction (ethanol to acetaldehyde) moves quickly, but the second reaction (acetaldehyde to acetate) is less efficient, particularly in the gut. That’s because your gut has drastically lower amounts of acetaldehyde-digesting enzyme. So when we drink, acetaldehyde tends to build up in the gut, which is bad news, because normal responsible drinking habits like hydrating and eating are unlikely to increase your body’s ability to digest acetaldehyde. So you’re probably going to feel it. Good news, ZBiotics is here to help.

Is it safe?

Yes. ZBiotics is completely safe.

It’s simply a combination of a natural good bacteria you likely already eat every day with a natural enzyme your liver already makes. It’s adapted to pass straight through your body, without seeding your gut or changing your microbiome.

And of course, it’s been heavily tested. The safety of ZBiotics has been confirmed through years of laboratory testing and review by America’s top food toxicologists. Furthermore, its safety and marketability are fully FDA-compliant, and all testing data is publicly available in the peer-reviewed Journal of Toxicology. If that’s not enough, know that ZBiotics has now been tried by thousands of people, including each team member of ZBiotics (some over 100 times), without issue.

How should I store it? Does it need to be refrigerated?

Room temperature. No refrigeration needed.

Store ZBiotics at room temperature with the cap on. Do not refrigerate. Try not to open it until you’re ready to drink it; opening it could potentially let contaminants from the air into the bottle.

What if I drink ZBiotics the morning after drinking?

It probably won't do anything.

ZBiotics won’t do much if consumed substantially after a round of drinking. ZBiotics's key ingredient – the probiotic that breaks down acetaldehyde – needs time to “wake up” in your gut and become active. That’s why we make ZBiotics our first drink of the night.

Does ZBiotics expire?

ZBiotics expires 18 months after bottling. Check out the USE BY date on your box.


When will I receive my package?

If you purchased with Standard shipping, you should receive your package within 3-7 days.

Please note that these shipping timelines are estimates and not guarantees. We've learned the hard way not to guarantee a service we don't personally provide. Our shipments are usually sent via the two major US private couriers' 2-day services, which deliver on time roughly 95% of the time. That sounds pretty good, but if we have 100 orders per day, that means 5 people every single day will be receiving their orders late! And since we have no control over whether or not these major courier services deliver on time, and because they generally respond with "too bad" when we reach out and complain on behalf of our customers, we've learned that we just need to be better about setting expectations for our customers.

Do you ship internationally?

Unfortunately we can only sell/ship in the United States for the time being. Each country has it's own regulatory process, but we're working hard to expand internationally soon.

My package says it was delivered, but I never received it.

If the package says it was delivered but you can't find it, unfortunately it either: 1. wasn't delivered (i.e. the delivery person made a mistake); 2. was delivered to the wrong address; or 3. was delivered and then stolen from your front door (probably the most likely scenario). It's probably a long shot, but you might try to check with neighbors or anyone who has a similar address to yours that might have gotten it accidentally (i.e. delivery error).

However, we'd hate for you to not get what you paid for. If you can't track it down, send us an email at support@zbiotics.com, and we can try to figure out a solution.

I have an issue. How can I get in touch?

Call us: (415) 723-5065
Email us: support@zbiotics.com


How does a ZBiotics Subscription work?

With a subscription, you don't need to remember to restock your ZBiotics. You can purchase any number of 6-packs or 12-packs at 4, 6, 8, or 12-week intervals.

Can I change my ZBiotics Subscription details?

Yes! You can log into your ZBiotics Subscription account at any time to change your pack size or quantity, the number of weeks until your next order, your payment details, and your shipping address. You can even change the date of your next shipment or skip a shipment altogether, if needed. If you have any questions or need help, you can also send us an email at subscriptions@zbiotics.com.

When do I get charged for my ZBiotics Subscription?

Your first order of ZBiotics will be charged when you create the subscription, just like purchasing a one-time order. Your future upcoming orders will be charged to the same payment details you used to make your first purchase 3 days before your order is shipped. Don't worry, you'll receive an email reminder or SMS text reminder (if you opted into SMS).

If you need to change your payment details, you can log into your ZBiotics Subscription account to make an update.

Can I skip an upcoming ZBiotics Subscription order?

Sure, just log into your ZBiotics Subscription account and choose "Skip This Order" on your subscription product. Please note that you won't be able to skip your upcoming order if your payment method has already been charged (within the 3 days before your order is due to ship), or if your order has already shipped.

Can I change my next ZBiotics Subscription order date?

Yes, log into your ZBiotics Subscription account and select "Next Order" with the upcoming order data on your subscription product. A calendar will pop out and you can select a new order date or skip this order. Please note that changing the date will update your upcoming future order dates as well.

How do I cancel my ZBiotics Subscription?

To cancel your subscription, log into your ZBiotics Subscription account and choose "Cancel Subscription" on your subscription product.

Please note that you won't be able to cancel your first order through the account portal so if you need to make an immediate cancellation, please send us an email at subscriptions@zbiotics.com.


Is this FDA-compliant?

Yes. ZBiotics is fully FDA-compliant for safety and adheres to all regulatory requirements for sale in the U.S.

Note that FDA compliance is not FDA approval. FDA approval is a process reserved for drug products making health claims. ZBiotics is a food ingredient and has not been approved as efficacious for any purpose by the FDA.

FDA-compliant for safety means that we’ve satisfied all regulatory requirements to ensure ZBiotics is safe and can be legally sold in the United States. That means that all our manufacturing is conducted in an FDA-registered food-grade facility according to Good Manufacturing Practices compliant with 21 CFR 117. It also means that our novel ZB183 ingredient has been extensively tested and is generally recognized, among qualified experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use.

Does ZBiotics affect my level of intoxication?


ZBiotics will not affect your level of intoxication. ZBiotics does not decrease your blood alcohol level, nor does it make alcohol any safer.

All the same rules about alcohol safety apply.  Don’t get behind the wheel, don't operate heavy machinery, and don't drink too much. Alcohol is still dangerous on its own.

Does ZBiotics allow me to drink more?

Absolutely not.

ZBiotics has no effect on alcohol, nor does it shield your body from the health effects of alcohol. Please drink responsibly.

Will ZBiotics change my microbiome?

That's not how it's designed.

We intentionally designed ZBiotics so that it would not change your microbiome. We purposefully built upon a base bacteria that is well-adapted to passing straight through you and not colonizing your gut.

This creates a few likely benefits: (1) your microbiome remains unchanged; (2) the interaction between our probiotic and your gut should remain consistent and predictable; and (3) because we’re not trying to change your microbiome, we don’t need to use an excessive amount of probiotic per serving.


I thought alcohol causes dehydration?

It does, but dehydration is actually just a small part of how alcohol affects your body.

Alcohol is indeed a diuretic, but that actually contributes only minimally to the feelings you experience after drinking. There is actually some pretty cool scientific literature that shows that the biochemical marker of dehydration does not correlate with the amount of misery people feel the next day after drinking alcohol. And this makes sense; if the negative effects of drinking were due solely to dehydration, a glass of water in the morning would make you 100%... but we all know from experience that morning-after misery can persist well into the day.

Read more about alcohol and dehydration.

How does acetaldehyde make me feel?

There are hundreds of papers demonstrating the unwanted effects of acetaldehyde. HERE is one that shows a direct comparison of acetaldehyde to ethanol. HERE is another on the impact of acetaldehyde on DNA. And HERE is a summary of studies published by the EU regarding the safety (or lack thereof) of acetaldehyde.

How will ZBiotics make me feel?

ZBiotics is designed to break down acetaldehyde, which is responsible for some of the worst feelings you get when you drink. It is not designed to break down alcohol, which causes some of the more minor effects. In particular, alcohol itself affects the quality of your sleep, but you can usually take care of that with some breakfast and coffee.


What is the primary ingredient in ZBiotics?

B. subtilis ZB183™.

The primary ingredient is a patented (US Patent 10,849,938 B2) probiotic bacterial strain we invented called Bacillus subtilis ZB183. We invented it by taking a base strain of B. subtilis and engineering it to produce an enzyme that breaks down the unwanted chemical acetaldehyde.

Why is this different than other products out there?

Other products on the market today are different mixes of the same ~10 off-the-shelf vitamins and plant extracts you can find anywhere. Many of these have absolutely no demonstration of efficacy or even really a hypothesis as to how they could possibly help you.

ZBiotics is different. We looked at one of the major unwanted byproducts of drinking alcohol – acetaldehyde – and invented a probiotic bacteria to break it down the same way your liver does. No other product out there does that.

We spent two years in the lab bioengineering a completely new solution from scratch. It’s built the ground up specifically for this purpose, and we’ve patented it (US Patent 10,849,938 B2).

Furthermore, our product uses a completely new technology. We are the first genetically engineered probiotic to ever hit the market. We are extremely excited not just for this particular use case, but for all the other things we think we can do using bioengineered probiotics.

Does this product contain soy?

We have tested the product and all our testing shows that the product does not contain soy.

Some of our old packaging still has a soy allergen disclaimer, but this is no longer necessary. We use soy as a protein source when we grow the probiotic bacteria, so we put this disclaimer on to be extra cautious. However, the bacteria are washed and dried before being put into the final product. We have now tested and confirmed that there are no detectable amounts of soy left in the bottle, and because of this we are in the process of removing the soy allergen label from our packaging.

Why don’t you use plant extracts, electrolytes, or other supplement ingredients?

First off, no other ingredient in the world actively breaks down acetaldehyde.

But if we felt like any other ingredients would meaningfully improve your next morning, we would use them. Sadly, the science substantiating that is nonexistent or mixed at best.

And furthermore, even if they were functional, it’s difficult to verify the source and purity of many supplement ingredients. We invented ZBiotics in-house and have extensively tested its safety, so we can be 100% positive about what’s in our drinks.

Is ZBiotics all-natural?

In the colloquial sense, ZB is definitely not all-natural. We invented it using modern genetic engineering technology.

But to go down the rabbit hole for a second, it also depends on how you define “natural.” Our technology leverages tools invented by nature. Homologous recombination – the technique we used to build ZBiotics – is a natural process, used by bacteria for billions of years. We merely designed an event where the use of that natural process has the precise result we want.

Genetic Engineering

What is genetic engineering (or "bioengineering")?

Genetic engineering is the use of modern biotechnology techniques to specifically and deliberately edit the genetic code, or “DNA,” of an organism.

Much like traditional plant and animal breeding on the farm, the goal of genetic engineering is to create unique organisms with new and useful characteristics: a more nutritious type of rice, for example. But genetic engineering allows for far greater control and speed than traditional breeding, as well as new combinations of characteristics that otherwise would take thousands of years to develop in nature.

Is genetic engineering the same as genetic modification or GMO?

More or less.

We try to reduce confusion by using these terms interchangeably. The terminology of genetic engineering is convoluted, even for scientists. It’s inconsistent and at times contradictory, so we try to keep it straightforward. But if you really want them, we do have the answers… if you want to know more, check out our blog piece on this.

What is genetically engineered in ZBiotics?

The primary ingredient, Bacillus subtilis ZB183™, was created using genetic engineering.

Specifically, the genetically engineered component is the production of an enzyme known as acetaldehyde dehydrogenase. The base bacteria – a bacteria used for thousands of years to ferment a Japanese soybean food called natto – does not produce this enzyme normally; ZB183 only produces it because we genetically engineered it to do so.

What about GMO safety?

Genetic engineering – the technology underlying GMOs – is a tool to make new products. The tool itself does not carry any inherent risk, but the resulting products must be individually evaluated for safety just like anything else. Saying GMOs are altogether safe or unsafe would be like saying that any product made with metallurgy is always safe or unsafe. But of course a sword and a spoon have very different safety profiles. So we need to evaluate individual products individually.

With that in mind, the scientific consensus on the safety of the GMO foods currently on the market is settled – having been endorsed time and again by unbiased sources from the World Health Organization (WHO) to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The WHO puts it this way: “[Genetically modified] foods currently available on the international market have passed safety assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.”

But again, genetic engineering is just a tool, and like any tool it can be wielded carefully or recklessly. That is why we strongly advocate for the extensive scientific evaluation of the safety of all new GMO products as a basic tenet of responsible use of genetic engineering.

What else is a GMO?

Lots of things – many of which may surprise you.

There are many GMOs in the world today. We’re most familiar with them as components in major agricultural crops like corn, soy, cotton, sugar beets, and alfalfa. But another major source of GMOs is in the production of therapeutics, where microbes are genetically engineered to produce life-saving drugs. Just one example is insulin for diabetics, which has been produced using GMOs ever since the 1970’s. GMOs can also be found in industrial production, where they are increasingly being used to produce useful food ingredients and industrial products.

There are also an increasing number of GMOs currently in development. Some of these have the potential to save current crops from threats like climate change and disease. For an example, check out this infographic of the genetic engineering research going into saving coffee plants.


How can something in the gut affect the rest of my body?

One rarely appreciated fact is that your gut, and particularly your colon (part of your gut), is actually a huge sink and source of acetaldehyde in the body, even more so than the blood or liver. In fact, while blood acetaldehyde concentrations generally are around 70-80µM after a night of heavy drinking, colonic acetaldehyde concentrations can reach as high as 300µM. That’s because a large amount of acetaldehyde is actually created in your gut, produced by enzymes in both your intestinal lining and your microbiome.

But acetaldehyde doesn’t just stick around your gut. It’s an extremely soluble molecule. So soluble, in fact, that it can actually diffuse into all the fluid of your body, easily passing through membranes from your gut and into your brain, muscles, and cells. The result? All those non-gut effects of acetaldehyde may in fact be quite gut-related.

Is this patented / proprietary to ZBiotics?

Yes. The rights to ZBiotics® and all intellectual property associated with our products was developed and is owned by ZBiotics Company. As it relates to our first product, the USPTO granted our US Patent 10,849,938 B2 in December 2020.

I have questions about my data privacy. How do I get in touch?

Email us at privacy@zbiotics.com, visit our Privacy Center, or call us Toll-Free at (855) 800 4974.

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