Researchers find red-wine drinkers have more diverse gut microbiomes, which means better health, reports Wine Spectator.
Maybe bacteria aren't so bad. Research has increasingly found that the trillions of microbes that live in our intestines, collectively known as the gut microbiome, contribute largely to our health and well-being. And in good news for wine lovers, a new study finds that drinking red wine helps keep this community of bacteria healthy and diverse.
The gut microbiome aids in everything from digesting and metabolizing food to moderating our mood to regulating our immune systems. Its efficacy in carrying out these tasks, however, depends largely on its composition and diversity. Intestines with a diversified range of bacteria are better equipped to produce a variety of vitamins, enzymes and other compounds that positively affect our physiology.
Our personal microbiome diversity depends on many factors, including genetics and environment, exposure to disease, drug-use, smoking habits, diet and more. To better understand microbiome health, researchers from the Netherlands' University of Groningen took a closer look at the relationship between these factors and the prevalence of beneficial and diverse bacteria in our guts.
"Gut microbiome is linked to many human diseases, such as inflammatory diseases of the gut, obesity and metabolic syndrome, immune-mediated diseases and others," the study's lead author, Alexandra Zhernakova, told Wine Spectator.