According to a new research published in Gastroenterology, red wine may have a beneficial effect on the gut microbiome (GM) and health outcomes.
Researchers at the King’s College London investigated the effects of various beverages including beer, cider, red wine, white wine and spirits on GM and health in a cohort of 916 female twins in the UK.
The findings showed that GM of red wine drinkers contained a greater proportion of different bacterial species than that of non-wine drinkers. The association remained strong even after adjusting for factors such as age, weight, the regular diet and socioeconomic status. The intake of red wine was also associated with lower levels of obesity and 'bad' cholesterol, which was partly attributable to the GM.
According to the authors, the polyphenols in red wine may have a key role to play in its effect on the GM. Dr Caroline Le Roy, one of the study authors, said: "While we have long known of the unexplained benefits of red wine on heart health, this study shows that moderate red wine consumption is associated with greater diversity and a healthier gut microbiota that partly explain its long debated beneficial effects on health." "However, it is still advised to consume alcohol with moderation," she added.