Red Wine Helps Gut Bacteria

A glass of red wine daily helped the intestinal bacteria of men in a small study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers tracked the bacteria levels of 10 healthy middle-aged men. They drank one of three beverages: 9 ounces of merlot, 9 ounces of a red wine with low alcohol content or 3 ounces of gin.

The findings showed that merlot and low-alcohol wine had the same positive effect on intestinal bacteria. The study’s authors concluded that moderate wine consumption can “impart important health benefits and this this effect is not due to the alcohol per se but instead to the other compounds (such as polyphenols) found in grapes.”

Health authorities recommend women drink no more than one alcoholic beverage daily; for men it’s two. People who do not drink alcohol are encouraged not to start.

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