According to a study from King’s College London, people who drink red wine have an elevated amount of gut microbiota diversity, a sign of gut health, as compared to those who did not drink red wine. Lower levels of obesity and ‘bad” cholesterol was also seen in red wine drinkers.
A team of researchers from the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London was successful in getting their paper published in the journal “Gastroenterology”. In the research, the team explored the effects of beer, cider, red wine, white wine and other spirits on the gut microbiome and its health in a group of almost 916 female twins in the UK. The result showed a diverse population of GM in red wine drinkers as compared to non-red wine drinkers. This was not seen in white wine, beer or any other spirit.
Dr. Caroline Le Roy, the first author of the study, from King’s College London said that while we have long known the unexplained benefits of red wine on heart health, this study shows that moderate red wine consumption is related to greater diversity and healthier gut bacteria that support the long-debated beneficial effects of red wine on health.
The microbiota or microbiome found in the gut is a collection of microorganisms that are responsible for affecting various factors like digestion, general mood, and immune system. The increased amount of good bacteria as compared to bad bacteria will be responsible causing many health problems such as weight gain, high cholesterol, and reduced immune system response. Higher the number of bacteria, better the health.
The team noticed a greater number of species in the microbiota of red wine drinkers. The result was also observed in the UK, the USA, and the Netherlands. Age, weight and regular diet were the factors that were considered while conducting the study and analyzing the results.
According to the authors, the main reason for the increased gut microbiome is due to the presence of polyphenols in red wine. Polyphenols defense chemicals that are naturally found in fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants and other beneficial properties promote the growth of healthy gut microbiome. The study also found that red wine can help kill ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Lead author Professor Tim Spector from King’s College London said: “This is one of the largest ever studies to explore the effects of red wine in the guts of nearly three thousand people in three different countries and provides insights that the high levels of polyphenols in the grape skin could be responsible for much of the controversial health benefits when used in moderation.”