A new study from King’s College London suggests that drinking red wine can increase the bacterial diversity of the gut microbiome, which is a sign of improved bowel health. Researchers have also found that red wine consumers have lower rates of obesity and “bad” cholesterol.
The study focused on the effect of the gut microbiome (GM) of beer, cider, red wine, white wine and spirits among 916 female twins in the UK.
“Although we have long been aware of the inexplicable benefits of red wine for heart health, this study shows that moderate consumption of red wine is associated with a wider variety and healthier gut microbiota, which partially explains its long-term beneficial effects on health,” explained the first author Research Dr. Caroline Le Roy.
The intestinal microbiome consists of trillions of bacteria and fungi that have a significant effect on the body’s metabolism, weight, immunity, appetite and mood. A growing collection of scientific evidence has shown that a greater variety of microorganisms in the gut community helps protect against disease.
The study showed that the intestinal microbiota of red wine consumers contains a greater number of bacterial species compared to non-consumers. In addition, this result was noted in two additional populations in the United States and the Netherlands and was consistent regardless of age, weight, regular diet, or socioeconomic status.
According to researchers, the intestinal health benefits of red wine can be attributed to polyphenols, which have many beneficial properties, such as antioxidants. Polyphenols serve as a kind of fuel for the microbes present in our system.
“This is one of the largest ever studies of the effects of red wine on the intestines of nearly three thousand people in three different countries and suggests that the high levels of polyphenols in grape skins can be responsible for most of the health benefits with moderate use.” – said lead author of the study, Professor Tim Spector.
The study also demonstrated the link between red wine and lower obesity and “bad” cholesterol.
“Although we have observed a connection between red wine consumption and the diversity of gut microbiota, drinking red wine rarely, such as once every two weeks, seems to be enough to observe the effect,” said Dr. Leroy.
“If you have to choose one alcoholic drink today, red wine is the one to choose, which seems to have a beneficial effect on you and your intestinal germs, which in turn can also help weight and the risk of heart disease. However, alcohol with moderation is recommended. ”