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July 27, 2012
If taken in moderation, high quality red wine is considered one of the healthiest natural foods. High in anti-oxidants and flavonoids, red wine is an excellent natural solution to slow down oxidation processes in our cells, prevent premature aging and various related chemical processes in our tissues. A glass of high quality low-alcohol red wine a day is a great and very tasty solution to prevent cardiovascular diseases like anemia, atherosclerosis, a stroke, a heart attack, and many others. Consuming a glass of Merlot or Cabernet is a natural way to lower our risks of mouth cancer, reduce LDL bad cholesterol levels and prevent obesity. Red wine is a common element of the French and Spanish diets which are considered by most of the nutritionists the world’s healthiest diets. Finally, according to the findings of a recent study published this summer in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, health effects of red wine include improving the function of our lower intestines and creating a proper environment for healthy gut bacteria development.
A team of scientists from the Department of Internal Medicine, Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica August Pi i Sunyer, University of Barcelona, and Hospital Virgen de la Victoria, Malaga, Spain, conducted a series of experiments aiming to look closer at red wine consumption effects on our health and digestive system, in particular. 10 healthy middle-age male volunteers were invited to participate the study. For the first two weeks, the participants were asked to have no wine or other alcohol drinks in their daily diet, at that change no their daily diet or physical activity routines. For the other three weeks, they were offered to have 9 ounces of Merlot, 9 ounces of low-alcohol red wine, and 3 ounces of gin. The scientists explained that gin was chosen as an alternative to red wine as another alcohol beverage with no content of natural polyphenol compounds.
After the experiments, the participants’ weight and blood pressure were monitored, and the samples of their urine, stool and blood were taken on a regular basis. The findings have shown that consuming no more than 9 ounces of Merlot or low-alcohol red wine was linked to lower blood pressure, decreased triglyceride levels, decreased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and lower risks of inflammation. At the same time, newly discovered health effects of red wine included also improved amounts of good gut bacteria in the intestines which would lead to a better function of our lower intestines. Such effects are very beneficial to our overall health, the Spanish scientists underline, since a better function of our colon and lower intestines is linked to better digestion, boosted function of our immune system, as well as increased production of vitamin K essential for improved blood quality.
Since there were no effects after consuming gin, it is considered that those are polyphenols that influence the amount of good gut bacteria. Therefore, these prebiotic health effects of red wine can be recommended for everyone as a natural solution for various problems with bowel movements, starting from quite common constipation and ending up with more serious ones. “This study was the first to show that regular, moderate consumption of red wine could have a noteworthy effect on the growth of select gut microbiota,” Spanish scientists state in their report. Remember that using high quality red wine to promote growth of good gut bacteria and balance intestinal bacteria should be done with great caution since increased consumption of red wine can cause dependence and very serious health problems. Check out more information about the findings of Spanish scientists regarding health effects of red wine on colon function here.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.