Red wine can be beneficial to the gut, increasing the number of different types of beneficial bacteria that can live there, according to researchers.
The benefits probably come from polyphenols, compounds that make white wine, beer and cider far less, says King & # 39; s College London team.
A two-week glass was enough to change, but researchers say the findings are not an excuse for a bout.
Polyphenols are also found in many fruits and vegetables.
Why does it matter?
Polyphenols, such as resveratrol in the skin of red grapes, are trace elements that are thought to have beneficial properties and act as a fuel. for beneficial microbes living in our gut.
Our guts contain trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms, and this community of "friendly" bugs helps keep us healthy.
A growing body of research suggests that small changes in our microbiota may make us more susceptible to diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, heart disease, and obesity, and may even affect our mood and mental health.
Our diets, lifestyles and certain types of medicines we can take can upset this finely balanced gut ecosystem.
What was the Study?
The study, published in the journal Gastroenterology, looked at thousands of people living in the UK, US and Netherlands,
The gut microbiota of red wine drinkers is more diverse than that of non-red wine drinkers.
The variety of bugs raises more red wine that one consumes, although sometimes drinking – one glass a week or two weeks – seems like enough.
None of the participants was a drinker.
Researchers say that heavy consumption is not recommended and would probably have a bad effect on the kidneys as well as on a person's overall health.
What do experts say?
Researcher Dr. Caroline Le Roy said, "This is an observational study, so we cannot prove that the effect we see is caused by red wine."
"If you have to choose an alcoholic beverage today , red wine is what you have to choose because it seems to have a beneficial effect on you and your gut microbes, which in turn can also help with your weight and your risk of heart disease.
daily and it is still recommended to drink alcohol in moderation.
She said that I would like to do a follow-up study offering people red wine without alcohol or red grape juice to see what effect everyone has on the gut microbiota.
"We are beginning to know more and more about gut bacteria. It's complicated and we need more research, but we know that the more variety it has, the better it looks for our health. "
Alex White, Nutrition Assistant at the British Nutrition Foundation, said: findings from this study are interesting, and the impact of diet brought us on bacteria in our intestines is really exciting area of science.
"However, more research is needed before making firm conclusions about any link between intake of red wine and changes in gut flora and whether this is likely to lead to tangible health benefits.
" Remember that high levels of alcohol intake are associated with an increased risk of a range of health problems, including certain types of cancer, heart disease, stroke and liver disease, and that in order to keep the health risks of alcohol to a low level it is recommended that adults do not drink more than 14 units per week. "
Dr Megan Rossi, a non-research consultant at Kings in Kings and a spokesman for the British Dietetic Association, said:" There are merits in the conclusions. I would not recommend that people start drinking red wine, but if people drink it occasionally, they should not feel guilty – and this may even be helpful. "