Red wine consumption linked to improved gut health

Research has indicated that moderate amounts of red wine consumption is correlated with increased diversity in gut bacteria.

Moderate red wine consumption linked to gut health
Red wine and your gut

One of the characteristics of red wine is that it is rich in a group of micronutrients called polyphenols, particularly when compared to other alcoholic drinks such as beer and white wine. Polyphenols are present in a wide range of plant-based foods and have long been associated with a number of health and wellbeing benefits including improved digestion and cardiovascular health.

A recent scientific study published in the journal Gastroenterology and featured by the BBC, claims that even two glasses of red wine a month might be sufficient to boost gut health. Reports that link alcohol consumption with health benefits are usually treated cautiously, lest they provoke excessive consumption. This research found that in three independent cohort studies, red wine drinkers had greater diversity in helpful gut bacteria than non-red wine drinkers. Although this study demonstrated a simple correlation, the evidence is mounting that a number of physical and mental health conditions (Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, obesity, and even depression) are linked to the range of bacteria in our digestive tract. It should be stressed that none of the participants in the research were identified as ‘heavy drinkers’.

In summary, the initial findings are that moderate amounts of red wine consumption are correlated with increased diversity in gut bacteria. And in turn, increased diversity in gut bacteria is linked to a number of health benefits. However, the wider picture is that the composition of our gut microbiota can be influenced by a range of factors. Therefore any single element, such as red wine consumption must be seen in relation to diet and lifestyle in general.

Author: eatscientifically

As a researcher working with the contemplative sciences, it became evident to me that food plays an important role in the life of most regular meditators. From this realisation, it was only a small step to identify correlations between diet and certain cognitive characteristics linked to meditation and mindfulness. Over the last decade, science has been increasingly supporting the view that our diet meditates our gut bacteria, which in turn directly correlates with our physical and mental health. Central to this understanding is the appreciation that some simple and inexpensive fermented foods and drinks make a positive contribution to gut health. Science now supports the proposition that improving your gut health is likely to increase your resilience to a number of illnesses including some forms of cancer, heart disease, depression and anxiety.

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