Gut health: A little red wine strengthens the intestinal flora and protects against obesity

Gut health: A little red wine strengthens the intestinal flora and protects against obesity

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Improve bowel health with a glass of red wine?

People who drink red wine not only have improved intestinal health, they have lower cholesterol and are less obese than people who do not consume red wine.

The latest study by King’s College London found that red wine consumption is associated with increased gut microbiota diversity. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "Gastroenterology".

Red wine leads to a more diverse gut microbiome

The researchers examined the effects of beer, cider, red wine, white wine and other spirits on the gut microbiome and general health in a group of 916 British female twins. They found that the gut microbiome of women drinking red wine was more diverse than those who did not drink red wine. This has not been observed when consuming white wine, beer or spirits. After we have long known about the benefits of red wine for heart health, this study now shows that moderate red wine consumption is associated with a greater variety of intestinal bacteria and a healthier intestinal flora, study author Dr. Caroline Le Roy of King’s College London in a press release. This could also explain the long-discussed positive health effects.

What is the gut microbiome?

The so-called microbiome is the entirety of microorganisms that live on and in our body and it plays an important role in human health. The gut microbiome describes all the bacteria in the gut and is also known as the gut flora. An imbalance between "good" and "bad" microbes in the intestine can lead to adverse health effects, such as: B. a weakened immune system, weight gain or high cholesterol. A person's gut microbiome with its various bacterial species is considered a marker for gut health.

Are polyphenols in red wine responsible for the benefits?

The team found that red wine consumers' gut microbiota contained a greater number of different types of bacteria than women who did not drink red wine. This result was also observed in three different cohorts in the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands. In their study, the researchers took factors such as age, weight, regular diet and socio-economic status into account in order to avoid bias in the results. The connection still remained. The main reason for the association are the many polyphenols in red wine, the researchers suspect. Polyphenols are often found in fruits and vegetables and they have many beneficial properties.

Alcohol should only be consumed in moderation

In the study, the consumption of red wine was also associated with a lower level of obesity and unhealthy cholesterol, which was partly due to the gut microbiota, the researchers explain. For the effect on the intestinal flora, it seems to be sufficient to consume red wine only rarely (about every two weeks). In this way, negative effects from the alcohol contained could also be avoided. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Red wine benefits linked to better gut health, study finds, King’s College London (query: 28.08.2019), King’s College London

Video: Does Drinking Alcohol Kill Your Gut Bacteria? (January 2023).