red wine being poured in a wine glass

How does red wine protect you?

A glass of red wine is tempting to keep the winter chills away and it relaxes you after a day at work. Red wine goes well with most meals and can be used in cooking too. And good wine goes with good company. Really no one needs an excuse to drink wine, as most people love a glass or two no matter what the occasion is.

You can justify your wine drinking habits with all the studies that come out every year extoling the benefits of wine.

For several years researchers have found that low to moderate intake of red wine can be beneficial in delaying the onset of cognitive impairments in aging and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s diseases and Parkinson’s disease.

The researchers found that the metabolites were protecting the cells from dying.

Evidence from human randomised controlled trials have shown that certain wine compounds – anthocyanins or flavonoids – are responsible for improvements in recognition and working memory, attention, and physical and fine motor function.

In a new study, researchers from the Institute of Food Science Research in Madrid investigated the molecular mechanisms which underlie the neuroprotective actions of wine.

For this study the researchers examined  human gut metabolites – compounds which are left after the wine passes through the gut.

They selected some of these metabolites present in the urine and faeces of people who consume wine on a regular moderate basis.

To investigate the neuroprotective effect of these compounds, they added these compounds to human cells under stress conditions which would normally lead to neuronal cell dysfunction and death. This is the same condition which leads to the initial stages of neurodegenerative diseases.

The researchers found that the metabolites were protecting the cells from dying. But more significantly, the metabolites were active at different points in the cell signalling cascade that leads to the cell’s death.

The exact composition of the wine metabolites is important for the protective effect to take place.

This composition is dependent on gut microbiota composition which breaks down the wine into different metabolites.

This means that different gut microbiota leads to different metabolites – and this depends on what humans consume, underpinning the idea that we benefit from food in different ways.

While red wine contains neuroprotective compounds, it is certain food compounds which are responsible for this protective benefit against the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.

A glass of red wine is good for you, what is better is a balanced diet which helps those wine compounds to protect against cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative diseases.

And let’s make an important note here – the benefits from red wine is derived from low to moderate consumption of wine, while heavy intake of wine has severe harmful effects.

Source: Frontiers in Nutrition

Meena Azzollini

Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!

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