A study by King & # 39; s College London found that people who drink red wine have an increased diversity of gut microbiota (a sign of gut health) than drinkers without red wine, and an association with lower levels of obesity and bad cholesterol.
In an article published today in the journal Gastroenterology a team of researchers from the Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London examines the effect of beer, cider, red wine, white wine and spirits on the gut microbiome (GM) and subsequent health in a group of 91
They found that the GM of red wine drinkers is more diverse than non-red wine drinkers. This is not observed when consuming white wine, beer or spirits.
The first author of the study, Dr. Carolyn Le Roy of Kings College London, said: "While we have long known about the unexplained benefits of red wine for heart health, this study shows that moderate consumption of red wine is associated with a large variety and healthier gut microbiota, which partly explains its long discussed health benefits. "
The microbiome is the collection of microorganisms in the environment and plays an important role in human health. An imbalance of the "good" germs compared to the "bad" ones in the gut can lead to adverse health outcomes such as reduced immune system, weight gain or high cholesterol.
The gut microbiome of a person with a greater number of different types of bacteria is a marker of gut health.
The team observed that the gut microbiota of consumers of red wine contained a greater number of different types of bacteria than non-users. This result is also observed in three different groups in the UK, USA and the Netherlands. The authors take into account factors such as age, weight, regular diet and socioeconomic status of the participants and continue to see the association.
The authors believe that the main cause of the association is due to the many polyphenols in red wine. Polyphenols are protective chemicals naturally found in many fruits and vegetables. They have many beneficial properties (including antioxidants) and mainly act as a fuel for the germs present in our system.
Lead author Professor Tim Spector of King & # 39; s College London says: "This is one of the largest studies examining the effects of red wine in the intestines of nearly three thousand people in three different countries and gives the impression that levels of polyphenols in grape skin could be responsible for much of the controversial health benefits when used sparingly. "
The study also found that red wine consumption was associated with lower levels of obesity and 'bad' cholesterol, which was partly due to the gut microbiota.
" Although we observed a link between red wine consumption and the variety of gut microbiota, rarely drinking red wine, such as once every two weeks, seems sufficient to observe the effect. "It has a subtle effect on you and your gut microbes, which in turn can also help with weight and risk of heart disease. Still, it is recommended to drink alcohol with moderation," added Dr. Le Roy.
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King's College London
Benefits of red wine related to better gut health, studies (2019, August 27)
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