For several years, researchers have been studying how a moderate intake of wine can be beneficial in delaying the onset of cognitive impairments in aging and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Lead author Dr. Esteban Fernández found out that when wine passes through our stomach, it forms a substance, or metabolite, that can protect the neuron cells from dying.
To study the effects of these metabolites on the brain they added human cells under stress that normally lead to neuronal cell dysfunction and death. These conditions are related to the initial stages of some neurodegenerative disorders. According to the results, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, the wine’s metabolites protected the cells from degenerating.
Dr. Esteban Fernández stated, “it is very important to understand that certain food compounds are responsible for this health benefit in protecting against the onset of neurodegenerative diseases; no medication was involved”, he continued, “I am not advocating to replace medicines by diet, but I want to raise more awareness how your diet is helping to prevent diseases or reduces the risk of getting sick. It is more than feasible to go to the supermarket and buy vegetables and fruit; it depends only on the individuals to maintain a balanced diet”.
The scientists explained that the exact composition of wine metabolites influences the neuroprotective effect. This composition, in return, depends on each individual's microbiota. In other words, wine is broken down into different metabolites depending on the gut flora stationed within the stomach and intestines.
So, to recap: Your intestinal bacteria can break down wine into certain compounds that prevent neuronal cell death, and your best bet for maintaining helpful gut bacteria is to eat healthy. I can drink to that.
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto
LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez