More evidence is accumulating for the health benefits of drinking red wine. Red wine contains the substance resveratrol which may help support a healthy vascular system by reducing the accumulation of cholesterol and calcium deposits in the blood vessels.
Research done by Dr. Man-tian Mi in Chongquing, China using mice found that reservatrol could change the balance of bacteria in the gut. The overall make up of bacteria in the gut is complex and varied by individuals. It is referred to as the microbiome of the gut. Many of you have seen the TV ads for bioactive yogourt which purport to rebalance the bacteria in your digestive system. The Chinese researcher found that resveratrol fed to mice would encourage some bacteria’s growth while inhibiting other varieties.
The varieties inhibited were important in producing the chemicals that allow plaque to form in the blood vessels. The plaque is made up of a combination of cholesterol and calcium. An accumulation of it can block blood vessels which can lead to heart attack, stroke, dementia and organ failure.
The study of the bacteria present in the digestive system is an emerging science. A good balance of microorganisms is important in maintaining good health. It has long been known that some gut bacteria produce Vitamin K which is important in ensuring blood clotting. Now it has been established that what you eat can rapidly affect the balance of those tiny creatures living inside you.
Scientists are now engaged in identifying all the bacteria normally found in the human gut. It is known as the Human Gut Biome Project. When that is complete, the researchers plan to chart all the bacteria normally found on the body’s surfaces.
The Human Food Project is a joint project with American and British researchers. They are crowd sourcing “samples” from a wide range of people.
The research results are in early days. There is some indication that resveratrol may be effective in fighting some cancers, but don’t get your hopes up too soon. And some evidence that it does not protect against plaque formation. Too much alcohol has been implicated in causing some cancers.
There are other good sources of resveratrol than red wine. You can find it in the skin of red grapes, peanuts, and some berries. But isn’t it nice to think of the old saying – A little wine for thy stomach’s sake? Maybe the old timers had it right.
Medical News Today
The Human Food Project
Linus Pauling Institute Oregon State University
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