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The Science Behind Red Wine And Weight Control



Bacterial Balancing Act

Consuming approximately nine ounces of a low alcohol red wine or Merlot on a daily basis was shown to reduce the bad bacteria and promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut.

The balance of bacteria in the intestinal tract has long been known to promote good health. Good bacteria promote proper digestion of food and absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream.

Building on the foundation of previous studies, such as those of U.S. biologist, Jeffrey Gordon, the new findings substantiate the value of Merlot and other low alcohol wines in weight regulation.

Gordon proved that bacteria-free mice did not digest food and that it passed through their system without any weight gain, no matter how much they ate. Once bacteria were introduced, the same mice processed food properly and experienced weight gains.

Gordon and others have since proven that there are over 500 species of bacteria represented by the trillions of single-celled entities residing in the average human intestine and colon.

Genes in Gut and Gut in Jeans

One reason you may not be able to get into your favorite jeans could be the genes of the bacteria in your gut. Yes, that excessive gut could be caused by the genes of bacteria living in your intestinal tract.

Though they are tiny, single-celled creatures, each bacterium has genetic codes, just as does every other living creature. The genetic coding determines which food substances the bacteria will attack and how thorough the subsequent breakdown will be. This directly affects how well the human body will absorb the food. Well-digested food is absorbed more readily, while less digested and undigested food passes through the tract and is evacuated.

Bacterial Effect on Cholesterol

Immunologists from Yale University, working with the University of Chicago under the direction of Dr. Alexander Chervonsky, recently reported other promising findings. They have learned that the introduction of certain good bacteria in lab mice arrested the development of Type 1 Diabetes.

Certain bacteria have been shown to possess unique abilities or preferences for digesting foods. Some are better able to handle fatty foods while others excel at breaking down complex carbohydrates.

Scientists continue to pursue answers in this regard, but it is clear that controlling bacteria in the human intestinal tract can help control obesity and obesity-related diseases.

Wine and Weight Control

Some doctors have theorized that drinking wine promotes thermogenesis. Dr. Lu Wang of Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital indicates that consuming alcohol raises the body temperature that in turn burns more calories.

Others, such as metabolism and nutrition specialist Jana Klauer, MD, of New York City, believe that the antioxidant properties of Merlot and low alcohol red wines help reduce bad cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Relationship Between Cholesterol & Obesity

It has been established that excessive cholesterol levels can cause insulin resistance that promotes weight gain and subsequent obesity. If Klauer and others are correct and the consumption of a glass of red wine each day reduces cholesterol, then it would also promote proper insulin levels in the bloodstream. This correlates directly to Chervonsky’s findings since insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes.

Red Wine versus White Wine

White wines are non-caloric, but they contain sugar, which is why they may be less effective than red wines in the regulation of weight gain. White wines do have some heart-healthy value. Rich in polyphenols, white wine promotes arterial health.

Red wine contains polyphenols, but also contains resveratrol and anthocyanins. These additional micronutrients have been proven in clinical studies to break down cholesterol and prevent plaque build-up in the arteries. Additionally, these agents combat atherosclerosis, which is the thickening and hardening of the arterial walls, a process once believed to be a natural part of aging.

The reason for the difference in nutrients found in red and white wines is that red wines are made from grape skins and white wines are made from grape pulp. Resveratrol and anthocyanins are found in the skins, but not in the pulp.

Other Observations

Another recent study that appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the consumption of Merlot and low alcohol red wines also decreased triglyceride levels in the human test subjects. Triglycerides are basic fat molecules that the body stores as fat. When broken down into mono-diglycerides, the body evacuates them. It is now believed that red wines promote that breakdown and thus help to control fatty deposits.