Red Wine Is Good For Your Gut Flora, Experts Say

And it may also be good for your brain.

Somehow in the midst of the health-information renaissance, we have yet to report on this: red wine is good for your gut flora, according to the experts at WebMD.

“Drinking a daily glass of red wine not only tastes good to many people, but it’s also good for the bacteria lining your large intestine,” they write. The Spanish study cited suggested that “sipping about 9 ounces of Merlot or a low-alcohol red wine changed the mix of good and bad bacteria typically found in the colon in ways that can benefit your health.”

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The findings, which were also reported on by the New York Times, suggest that red wine is a sort of natural “probiotic delivery system” as wine is both easy to digest and naturally fermented. The heaviest hitters in the study were Merlot and low-alcohol red wine, which had a prebiotic effect on intestinal bacteria. (“Researchers suspect it’s not due to the alcohol but to the polyphenol compounds found in the wine,” WebMD reports.)

While research is emergent, the reports strongly suggest that red wine is the way to go for those seeking to indulge with their health in mind. After drinking these polyphenol-rich beverages, the men in the study had lower blood pressure, decreased triglyceride levels, and lower C-reactive protein levels, which are a measure of inflammation.

“‘This study was the first to show that regular, moderate consumption of red wine could have a noteworthy effect on the growth of select gut microbiota,'” the researchers quoted in WebMD conclude.

More recent research has also added strength to the argument that the bacteria in your gut turn the polyphenols in red wine into various compounds that can delay the onset of certain neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. While excessive drinking is of course hazardous to health, the “wine-derived human gut metabolites” appear to have neuro-protective qualities.

We’ll drink to that!


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