Red Wine and Your Gut Microbiome
Red wine lovers rejoice! One of the largest studies of its kind found that regular red wine drinkers had healthier gut microbiomes than their counterparts who consumed other types of alcoholic beverages.
To remind you, the gut microbiome
is the name of the all-important ecosystem of microorganisms in our GI tracts now known to play a starring role in all aspects of health.
For this study, researchers examined the gut microbiomes and the alcohol habits of almost 3,000 drinkers in the US, the Netherlands, and the UK. Moderate red wine drinkers had a greater variety of bacterial species in their guts, a tell-tale marker of a healthy microbiome, relative to those who consumed white wine, beer, or hard liquor.
What’s more, the red wine drinkers also had lower levels of obesity and “bad” cholesterol. The likely active ingredient is red wine’s rich array of antioxidant polyphenols. Polyphenols are a family of beneficial plant compounds found in high concentrations in the skin of red grapes.
Amongst many other accolades, they are known to promote the growth of good gut bacteria, while stifling the growth of the bad. Based on this study, a little red wine goes a long way—once every two weeks appeared to be enough for benefits.Remember, if alcohol is safe for you and you enjoy red wine, it is best to limit your intake to one glass a day. Too much alcohol actually harms the microbiome, in addition to raising the risk of serious health conditions and accidents.
to see additional outstanding food sources of polyphenols.
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