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Wine associated with improved gut health

Do you imbibe in a celebratory glass of wine from time to time? With the holidays upon us, merry opportunities will surely present themselves.  If you choose to drink, we urge you to only consume alcohol in moderation and within the context of a healthy diet – remembering that those calories count too! 

While heavy drinking has been linked to lowered immunity, elevated blood pressure and increased likelihood of stroke among others, a new study out of London, suggests that one type of beverage may have particular benefits when it comes to gut health. (Which plays a vital role in immunity, mood and heart health).   

Researchers reviewed food frequency questionnaires of 916 twins to learn more about how various alcoholic drinks effect gut bacteria AKA the trillions of microbes in our body influenced by our genes, diet and the environment.  This study found that red wine drinkers actually had significantly more microbe diversity (a positive indicator for gut health) when compared to non-wine drinkers.  White wine had a weaker, yet similar association. 

It’s known that compounds in wine such as B vitamins and resveratrol may play a significant role in providing health benefits – think increased HDL and decreased blood pressure.  In this study authors believe they polyphenols in wine (found in grape skins) act as fuel for microbes in the gut and are responsible for the increased numbers.  Interestingly, even infrequent consumption of wine, say once every two weeks was observed to be effective. 

That said- if you don’t drink, don’t start, but if you do enjoy a glass of red wine from time to time, or grape juice for that matter - we think this is news that we can raise a glass to! 

Cheers to that!

Published December 1st 2019

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