You might have heard that wine is a heart-healthy beverage or even a bit of an aphrodisiac. But you might not know that wine, specifically red wine, can work wonders on your gut.
A new study from King’s College London suggests those who drink a moderate amount of red wine may have greater diversity of gut bacteria, an indicator of better digestive health.
The team reviewed data from 916 female twins and compared the effects of beer, cider, red wine, white wine and spirits on the participants’ gut microbiota and overall health. Even after accounting for diet, weight, age and other factors, red wine drinkers had a higher number of different bacteria in their guts, lower rates of obesity and lower levels of cholesterol than non-red wine drinkers.
The researchers confirmed these findings over three different groups of participants in the U.K., the Netherlands and the United States
What’s red wine’s secret?
Scientists suggest the key may lie in polyphenols [poly-FEEN-noles] within a grape’s skin. These gut-boosting chemicals are commonplace in fruits and veggies of all kinds.
If red wine isn’t your favorite or if you’re hoping to obtain these health benefits from other alcoholic beverages, you’re out of luck. The study found red wine was the only drink that showed gut-health benefits. However, having as little as one glass of red wine every two weeks was enough to demonstrate a positive effect.
While this might be exciting news for those with a taste for the grape, researchers encourage moderation in drinking habits. But if you’re having a drink, scientists suggest that you pop a cork rather than pop a top.