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Medtech Impact on Wellness

Zack Abbott, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO of ZBiotics (, discusses his company’s mission, acetaldehyde toxicity, and the future of probiotics for health protection.

Abbott is the creative scientific mind behind the proprietary technology and foundation for ZBiotics. Abbott holds a PhD in microbiology & immunology from the University of Michigan, where he worked on bacterial gene regulation. He earned his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, in immunology as well as classical art and archaeology. In his earlier years, Abbott was a researcher, studying HIV vaccines and pursuing novel antibiotics.

Abbott’s company has developed ZBiotics™—the planet’s first genetically engineered/modified probiotics designed to break down a toxic byproduct of alcohol known as acetaldehyde. He explains how the product works to combat the negative effects of alcohol, discussing the live bacteria aspects and the way they have engineered it to fight those negative effects. As he explains, by mimicking what our livers do to metabolize alcohol, ZBiotics takes its inspiration from nature.

Instead of manufacturing the enzyme separately, ZBiotics has engineered some probiotic bacteria to produce this enzyme anew, inside your gut, thereby transferring the trait for acetaldehyde breakdown out of the liver to probiotic bacteria. Abbott talks about the future of ZBiotics, as they look to build new products that can help our bodies handle many potentially problematic issues, from everyday chemicals in alcohol and dairy, to severe contaminants and problems, such as radiation and lead in water health effects.

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