Red Wine Helps Kick-Start Good Digestion

xchocoholic

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This is by far the best protocal I've tried so far ... :D I tried this the other nite and was amazed that it helped me digest my dinner. When I googled wine and digestion I found this article. Who knew. I was just trying to get some resveratrol ... BTW. this is the first wine or alcoholic drink, other than kombucha, that I've tried in 5 years. So far so good. I appear to be able to handle wine better now than I used to.

http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/40985

Red Wine Helps Kick-Start Good Digestion

Portuguese study finds the beverage triggers chemical reactions inside the stomach

Jacob Gaffney
Posted: October 14, 2009

Red wine not only goes well with a nice meal, it helps the stomach convert potentially harmful chemicals into less dangerous molecules before they're circulated in the body, according to a new study slated to be published in an upcoming journal of Toxicology. A team of Portuguese researchers found that specific polyphenols in red wine trigger the release of nitric oxide, a chemical that relaxes the stomach wall, helping to optimize digestion.

According to co-author Dr. Joo Laranjinha, an associate professor at the Center for Neurosciences and Cell Biology at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, the research bucks current theory. Since the 1990s, many researchers have believed that many of wine's observed health benefits are due to the antioxidative properties of polyphenols. Studies have found wine appears to counteract deleterious, oxidative injury to the body's molecules and cells, as with chronic, inflammatory conditions such as atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty material collects along the walls of arteries.

Many of these studies suggest that people would need to consume impossibly large amounts of red wine in order to see any antioxidative benefit, because polyphenols are extensively metabolized during absorption in the intestines, said Laranjinha. Estimates range anywhere from a couple of bottles per day, to 10,000 per week.

But an earlier study by the same team and published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine in 2008 found that red wine's benefits may begin before it reaches the intestine. "We started to check for beneficial effects occurring before the absorption phase, that is in the stomach," said Laranjinha. "Overall, the observations of the current study suggest a new pathway for the health benefits of wine ethanol and polyphenols in humans, beyond antioxidant activity, via production of nitric oxide."

While in large doses nitric oxide is a pollutant, in smaller amounts it can dilate arteries, helping blood flow. It also has the ability to "relax" the walls of the stomach, allowing nutrients to pass more freely into the bloodstream. In the earlier study, Laranjinha and his team noted that red wine showed a higher level of another chemical, called ethyl nitrite, when compared to non-alcoholic beverages and brandy. Ethyl nitrite, they found, reacts with potentially harmful free radicals, called nitrites, by chemically converting the molecules into nitric oxide. (Nitrites are found in salty and processed meats and can react poorly in the body, forming carcinogens.)

For the current research, the Portuguese researchers used samples of various red-wine polyphenols, such as catechin, epicatechin and quercetin, which are also found abundantly in apples, berries and onions.

To test if these polyphenols reduce the levels of nitrites in the stomach, the scientists examined the combined effect on preserved rodent gastric strips and on a sample of synthetic stomach acid. After 60 minutes of being exposed to the polyphenols, the stomach strips relaxed and the acid showed high levels of ethyl nitrite.

Taking it one step further, they recruited six healthy volunteers to eat a serving of lettuce, which is known to produce nitrites in the stomach, then served them red wine. After 60 minutes the participants would regurgitate into airtight containers so the contents could be examined. The scientists also found high levels of nitric oxide in the stomach acid.

"Both major [components] of red wine, the polyphenols and the ethanol, may induce beneficial effects via production of nitric oxide," said Laranjinha. "Mechanistically, the polyphenols reduce the nitrites consumed in the diet into nitric oxide in the stomach, and the ethanol reacts with nitrite and derived species in the stomach yielding a new molecule, ethyl nitrite, that releases the nitric oxide."
 

xchocoholic

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http://www.winedefinitions.com/learningcenter/articles/wineandhealth.htm

During the 1990s, a physician voiced on the television show "Sixty Minutes" that drinking red wine reduces heart disease. He cited the relatively lower levels of the disease in France despite their ever so famously high fat diets. Since that program, it seems that red wine health effects have been on the forefront of the wine consumers mind.

Good for the Heart
Coronary artery disease is caused by a build up of cholesterol in the arteries that supply the blood to the heart. If the arteries get partially blocked the heart cannot get enough oxygen and the result is pain. Does red wine protect against heart disease?

Many studies suggested that moderate amount of red wine (one to two glasses a day) lowers the risk of heart attack for middle aged people by 30 to 50 percent. It was also concluded that red wine may prevent additional heart attacks if you have already suffered from one.

The cholesterol that blocks these arteries is called low density lipo-protein or referred to as the bad cholesterol. This is cleared from the blood by high density lipo-proteins or the good cholesterol. Moderate wine consumption produces a better balance of these two. Additionally, wine has an anti-coagulation effect which makes the blood less likely to clot.

Red Wines
Chemical and food experts have known for years that wine contains rich deposits of vitamins, minerals, and natural sugars that are often beneficial to good health. Wine is also rich in potassium and low in sodium. Red wines have more of these elements due to the juices longer contact with the grape skins. Red wines are also rich in Vitamin B which comes from the grape skins as well.

Wine and Digestion
Wine aids in the production and flow of gastric juices. This facilitates digestion by breaking down the food in the stomach quickly and effectively. For many, after the age of 50 our bodies do not produce enough hydrochloric acid that are needed for digestion. So many doctors, including my own, have suggested a glass or two of wine with a meal. Who am I to complain?

Wine also has a tranquil effect on the body and helps people who have trouble sleeping. And it does not stop there as it may help lower the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimers disease.

Wine and Calories
As of now, there is no such thing as a diet wine. Unfortunately, there is no getting away from the fact that wine contains calories and calories make you fat if you do not burn them up. A glass of white or red wine contains around 100 calories. Sweeter wines that contain residual sugar as well as alcohol have more calories.

Final Thoughts
When you put everything together you may decide that a little bit of wine does you some good. Wine certainly has its place in a healthy lifestyle. That is my conclusion, and I am sticking with it!

Contributor: WineDefintions Staff Writer