Hmmm, sounds like a reason to have a lil’ bit…
In studies on animals, for example, scientists have found that components of red wine seem to improve intestinal health, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria. Research on human subjects is limited. But one recent study that examined the claim was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In it, a small number of healthy adults were instructed to avoid all alcohol for two weeks — a so-called washout period.
Then they went through three separate phases of 20 days each. In one, the subjects drank red wine, about a cup daily. In another, they drank the same amount of red wine daily, but this time with the alcohol removed. In the third, they drank up to 100 milliliters a day of gin each day.
What’s the best digestive aid? Join in the discussion below. In the end, the researchers found that both types of red wine produced improvements in the bacterial composition of the gut, lowered blood pressure and reduced levels of a protein associated with inflammation. Slight improvements in gut flora were seen among gin drinkers, but the effects in the wine drinkers were much more pronounced.
THE BOTTOM LINE
According to research, red wine may improve digestive health.
(click here to continue reading Really? Red Wine as a Probiotic Delivery System – NYTimes.com.)
and a few more details from the National Institute of Health (since I couldn’t find the specific study at the AJCN, due to a combination of their poor search feature and researcher1 incompetence)
BACKGROUND: Few studies have investigated the effect of dietary polyphenols on the complex human gut microbiota, and they focused mainly on single polyphenol molecules and select bacterial populations.
OBJECTIVE: The objective was to evaluate the effect of a moderate intake of red wine polyphenols on select gut microbial groups implicated in host health benefits.
DESIGN: Ten healthy male volunteers underwent a randomized, crossover, controlled intervention study. After a washout period, all of the subjects received red wine, the equivalent amount of de-alcoholized red wine, or gin for 20 d each. Total fecal DNA was submitted to polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and real-time quantitative PCR to monitor and quantify changes in fecal microbiota. Several biochemical markers were measured.
RESULTS: The dominant bacterial composition did not remain constant over the different intake periods. Compared with baseline, the daily consumption of red wine polyphenol for 4 wk significantly increased the number of Enterococcus, Prevotella, Bacteroides, Bifidobacterium, Bacteroides uniformis, Eggerthella lenta, and Blautia coccoides-Eubacterium rectale groups (P < 0.05). In parallel, systolic and diastolic blood pressures and triglyceride, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and C-reactive protein concentrations decreased significantly (P < 0.05). Moreover, changes in cholesterol and C-reactive protein concentrations were linked to changes in the bifidobacteria number.
Conclusion: This study showed that red wine consumption can significantly modulate the growth of select gut microbiota in humans, which suggests possible prebiotic benefits associated with the inclusion of red wine polyphenols in the diet. This trial was registered at controlled-trials.com as ISRCTN88720134.
(click here to continue reading Influence of red wine polyphenols and ethanol… [Am J Clin Nutr. 2012] – PubMed – NCBI.)Footnotes:
- me [↩]