Red Wine and Your Gut? (Interesting Study Results)
by Mike Geary – Certified Nutrition Specialist
[Author of The Fat-Burning Kitchen & The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging]
You’ve probably heard that red wine can be a very healthy drink option, but you most likely only heard about generic benefits of the antioxidants and resveratrol in red wine.
But here’s another MAJOR reason below why red wine in moderation (1-2 glasses per day max) can be a super healthy part of your routine. I personally have really grown to enjoy having a glass of red wine with dinner about 4-5 days per week.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;95:1323-1334) reported that people who drank 2 glasses of red wine per day (dry red wine, not sugary dessert wines) had higher levels of beneficial bacteria in their gut and lower levels of pathogenic bad bacteria in their gut. This is great news as you know from reading this newsletter how vastly important your gut flora balance is to everything from your digestion, immunity, metabolism, skin health, and much more.
The study concluded that while red wine consumption decreased pathogenic bacteria in the gut, it actually had a prebiotic effect in the gut in that it supported the growth and colonies of healthy gut microbes which protect your health.
But the powerful health benefits of red wine don’t stop there…
Another exciting part of this study is that the red wine drinkers also decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and CRP (C-reactive protein). CRP is a measure of overall inflammation in your body, so it’s great to see an association between red wine and reduced inflammation.
The interesting part of the study is that red wine was compared against equivalent servings of gin (equivalent alcohol serving) and none of the benefits mentioned above were seen in the group consuming the gin. This means the benefits were probably related to the polyphenols and resveratrol in red wine and not necessarily the alcohol content itself, although there is likely a synergistic effect of the alcohol and other compounds in red wine since the group receiving de-alcoholized red wine got less of a blood pressure benefit.
You can choose Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Shiraz or any other dry red wine to get all of these powerful health benefits of the unique polyphenols and resveratrol.
Note that white wine also has some health benefits but not nearly as powerful as red wine due to the lower antioxidant levels.
Another benefit of red wine not mentioned in the study above is that some studies show that red wine consumed with a meal can slow and moderate the blood sugar response you get from that meal. This is yet another benefit to keeping your hormones balanced, lowering insulin levels, controlling appetite, and staying lean!
As you can see, there’s plenty of reasons raise a glass of red wine at your meals and toast to your health and happiness! After all, I’ve seen several stories on the news where they ask a centenarian how they’re so healthy over the age of 100, and one of the answers they seem to frequently give is that they have one glass of red wine per day.