We've got some great news for you - drinking red wine may actually be good for your health!
A new study by researchers at King's College in London found that red wine could be the key to diverse gut bacteria. BUT only when consumed in moderation. Obviously.
The study analysed the effects of different alcoholic beverages - including white wine, beer and spirits - on the microbiome of 3,000 women across the UK, US and the Netherlands. What they found was that red wine drinkers had a healthier composition of flora living in their intestines than the other participants.
Experts explained this was due to the polyphenols present in red wine, promoting the growth of 'good' bacteria:
"Polyphenols are defence chemicals naturally present in many fruits and vegetables. They have many beneficial properties (including antioxidants) and mainly act as a fuel for the microbes present in our system," explained the researchers.
"An imbalance of ‘good’ microbes compared to ‘bad’ in the gut can lead to adverse health outcomes such as reduced immune system, weight gain or high cholesterol. A person’s gut microbiome with a higher number of different bacterial species is considered a marker of gut health."
Before you go rushing out to stock the pantry with nothing but bottles of wine though, the study's lead author, Dr. Caroline Le Roy warned against over-indulging.
She advised that just one drink every two weeks was enough to reap the benefits of the wine. We can't say we're not a little disappointed in that.
"If you must choose one alcoholic drink today, red wine is the one to pick as it seems to potentially exert a beneficial on you and your gut microbes. While we have long known of the unexplained benefits of red wine on heart health, this study shows that moderate red wine consumption is associated with greater diversity and healthier gut microbiota that partly explain its long-debated beneficial effects on health," said Le Roy.