The health benefits of red wine have long been debated, with many observational studies associating benefits with its consumption but no causation ever having been proved.
One piece of the puzzle has now been provided by researchers at King’s College London, with a new study into the effects of different types of alcohol consumption on gut microbiome (GM).
Analysing the gut microbiota of nearly three thousand people across the UK, the US and the Netherlands, the team found that the GM of red wine drinkers compared to non-red wine drinkers. The effect was still present even after various health and socioeconomic factors had been accounted for, and was not observed in drinkers of white wine, beer or spirits.
GM diversity is considered a marker of gut health, and impacts on the immune system, weight stability and cholesterol levels.
Although still observational, this study points to a likely causal link between drinking red wine and health benefits, as grape skins are high in polyphenols which fuel microbes present in the body.
The study authors hasten to point out that moderate consumption of alcohol is still advisable, as one glass of red wine every two weeks was enough to observe an effect.
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Source: Medical Xpress