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Red wine fights stomach bugs

Published:  23 July, 2008

Red wine can help to fight stomach ulcers and bugs that cause food poisoning.

Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia have found that red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Merlot can lessen the symptoms of stomach complaints.

They studied the effect of different wines and grape juice on food poisoning bacteria including E.coli, salmonella and listeria.

Researcher Azlin Mustapha, associate professor of food science at the University of Missouri-Columbia, said: "It's not just ethanol in the red wine that is inhibitory toward food-borne pathogens, but other factors which include the pH of the wine - because wines are a little acidic, and possibly the phytochemicals (resveratrol being the main one) may have an effect."

Resveratrol belongs to a class of compounds that are found in grape skins and are extracted through maceration so red wines have a higher reseveratrol content than whites. Numerous white wines were tested without positive results.