Wine has long been under the scanner of health experts and researchers to test it for prospective benefits to human health. Many recent studies have claimed how moderate consumption of wine, especially red wine can be beneficial for us. From fighting cavities, maintaining proper brain and heart health to combating rapid ageing, the miraculous health benefits of red wine is known to all. Adding more to the existing corpus of researches on red wine, is a recent study conducted by a team of Spanish experts. The study claims that red wine contains elements quite similar to the ones found in yogurt and can prove beneficial for human body.
For the study, the researchers studied 11 isolated strains of bacteria of wine. These strains contained a certain element called Lactobacillus – which is also found in yogurt – as well as Oenococcus and Pediococcus bacteria, which are associated with the wine-making process. The team analysed these strains of bacteria on the basis of their ability to sustain in environment akin to the human gastrointestinal system.
Eventually, it was found that these bacteria were able to survive and sustain themselves when exposed to simulated gastric juice, bile and lysozyme. Their survival was comparable to or even better than the survival of several strains of bacteria known to be beneficial to human health. The team is of the opinion that yogurt has long been touted as a food item rich in probiotics, therefore significantly beneficial for human gut and immunity, as a result of which not much light could be shed on the similar benefits that red wine possesses.
“Up to now, many studies have reported that the best foods to deliver probiotics are dairy fermented products, so the probiotic wine properties [Lactobacillus] were hardly studied,” said study author Dolores Gonzalez de Llano of Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain.
Consumption of probiotics holds primary significance as it assists in maintaining a healthy community of gut bacteria and bowel function. Probiotics have also been reported to possibly have anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering properties. The researchers also looked at how well the bacteria in wine might stick to the walls of the human intestine by growing human intestine cells in a lab dish. They found the bacteria did stick, and therefore, the bacteria “may provide beneficial effects, such as the exclusion of pathogens,” or harmful bacteria, from the intestine, they said.
However, the new findings do not mean that drinking a couple glasses of wine a day will provide the same health benefits as eating yogurt, opined Llano. Even though the moderate consumption of wine may confer certain health benefits, wine does not currently provide a sufficient amount of probiotics to be beneficial, as many of the bacteria are eliminated during a process called sulfating, which stabilizes wine, she added.