Researchers from King's College London point out that those who prefer red wine show signs of a healthier gut. In addition, they are less prone to gaining excess weight and accumulating "bad" cholesterol.
An article in the journal Gastroenterology describes the effects of various alcoholic beverages on the gut microbiome and overall health. The study of indicators was carried out by comparing data from pairs of female twins, the total number of subjects was 916.
Gut microbiota diversity is a marker of gut health. The microbiome (a collection of microorganisms) plays an important role in the functioning of the body, and specifically in digestion. If the balance between "good" and "bad" microorganisms is not maintained, then the consequences will not be long in coming, for example, a decrease in the immune response, weight gain or high cholesterol levels.
Scientists found that the microbiome of those who drink red wine was more diverse than those who choose other types of alcohol. The result was consistent across three different cohorts: subjects from the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands. The connection persisted and did not disappear when taking into account the accompanying factors: weight, regular nutrition, age and socio-economic status of the participants.
Scientists have long known about the "unexplained" positive effects that red wine has on the cardiovascular system. This study shows that red wine in moderation (about once every two weeks) promotes the diversity of the intestinal flora. This partly explains the beneficial effects of the drink on overall health.
According to the researchers, the reason is the abundant content of polyphenols in red wine. Polyphenols are complex substances found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. These compounds are known for various beneficial properties and, in particular, serve as a breeding ground for microorganisms present in the intestine. The fact that adherents of red wine were less likely to experience obesity and high levels of "bad" cholesterol, the researchers associate with an indirect effect of the improved composition of the microbiota.
At the same time, scientists warn that the results of the study should not be interpreted as an appeal to regularly drink. They note that this is rather a reason to prefer red wine when choosing a strong drink, and call for moderate alcohol consumption. The main benefit, as study lead author Tim Spector notes, is likely to come from the polyphenols found in the grape hull.
Scientists have previously found that resveratrol, one of the polyphenols found in wine, can have positive effects on mental health by reducing anxiety and depression. Regular (but not excessive!) Consumption of wine and coffee contributes to longevity. However, it is not necessary to choose wine by price tag: recent work by Australian researchers has shown that more expensive wines start to taste better to people as soon as they know the price.