I have some good news for you today! You can go ahead and drink that glass of red wine with your dinner and know that you are doing something good for your body.
We have all heard about the heart health benefits of red wine. But, new studies show that it can also help with your gut health.
I must admit that I don’t regularly drink alcohol, and up until about two years ago, I wasn’t a big fan of red wine. But now, because of all the discussion related to the positive aspects of drinking red wine, Malbec is my go-to drink of choice when I do decide to indulge.
For years, we’ve heard that a glass a day might have heart-healthy implications. It contains natural antioxidants and small amounts of resveratrol, a natural phenol that can help reduce inflammation in the body.
Now, thanks to a new study about gut health published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there may be another reason to raise a glass.
The Effects of Red Wine on Gut Health
The study authors evaluated the effects of red wine consumption in 10 middle-aged males and measured two important parameters.
First, they evaluated lipopolysaccharides (LPS), which are gut-related bacterial markers of inflammation. The researchers then looked at various gut bacteria called microbiota.
Now, this is where the study gets interesting.
The results showed that those who drank two glasses of red wine per day (dry red wine, not sugary dessert wines) were found to have significantly increased levels of beneficial bacteria called bifidobacteria, as well as lower levels of pathogens (bad bacteria) in the gut.
Bifidobacteria are known to reduce gut wall permeability or “leaky gut syndrome.” This leads to lower levels of inflammation as measured by lower LPS concentration.
We know without a doubt that there is a strong connection between gut flora and health, affecting everything from digestion, immunity, metabolism, skin health, and much more. We also know that gut wall permeability can lead to various autoimmune diseases such as chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and fibromyalgia.
A Reason to Raise a Glass of Red Wine
The study concluded that while red wine consumption decreased pathogenic gut bacteria, it actually had a prebiotic effect in the gut as well. It also supports the growth and colonies of healthy gut microbes, which helps to protect your health.
So, should you swap your probiotics for a glass of red wine? Well, not quite.
But, this new study is a fascinating reminder of how your diet can affect all aspects of your health. Whatever you consume will have a direct impact on how your body processes various foods and beverages, and it could ultimately mean the difference between living a healthy life or a diseased life.
While more research is needed to fully understand the link between red wine consumption and gut health, I’m content knowing that the occasional glass could be beneficial for my body. So, tonight, with my glass of red wine in hand, I will give a toast to my gut health!
Perlmutter, D., “Fill Your Glass With This to Improve Gut Microbiota,” Dr. Perlmutter, last accessed July 24, 2017; http://www.drperlmutter.com/cheers-red-wine/.
O’Connor, A., “Really? Red Wine Is Good for the Stomach,” The New York Times, May 14, 2012; https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/14/really-red-wine-is-good-for-the-stomach/.