New research shows that drinking red wine allows for greater microbial diversity in our intestines. Which is a very good thing.
We knew the moderate consumption of red wine good for the heart, reducing the risk of angina pectoris, and therefore of myocardial infarction. A study published a few months ago also noted that some compounds found in the precious beverage seem effective against oral problems. But the health benefits could still extend to our intestines. New research, signed by researchers at King's College London, suggests that red wine brings more high bacterial diversity in our microbiome. The details of this study, conducted among 3,000 people, are published in the journal Gastroenterology.
More than beer, or spirits
Intestinal bacteria are so important to our health that some consider them a full body. They digest our food, protect us from certain diseases and neutralize some of the toxic byproducts of the digestive process. They also affect our feelings, or even, as suggested by a study on the mouse, our personality. We also know that it is better to present a varied mixture of intestinal microbes, rather than some dominant strains. In this sense, our eyes are now on red wine.
The study reveals that occasional consumers of red wine had a greater diversity of bacterial species in their intestines than those drinking beer, cider, white wine or spirits. These results have of course been weighted by taking into account several factors that may play a role. Like age or diet.
The power of antioxidants
The researchers explain this good influence by the presence in the red wine of polyphenols. These molecules, which are powerful antioxidants, are already known to fight against the attacks of oxygen (especially free radicals) at the origin of a large number of diseases. It would also seem only one drink every two weeks suffice to make an effect.
The exact mechanisms allowing this greater microbial diversity are, however, not yet very clear. This is why doctors do not recommend the consumption of red wine for medical purposes. They point out that alcohol consumption, while it seems to have an advantage here, is also associated with more than 200 known health problems. Especially since polyphenols are also found in many foods. Like cocoa, thyme, nuts, strawberries or apples.