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Tuesday 25 January 2022

How drinking red wine "might" help you beat Covid

Drinking wine could reduce the risk of Covid infection, a study in Britain has found.

The picture is less rosy for beer and cider drinkers, as the same study found they face a higher Covid infection risk compared with those who didn’t drink alcohol.

Details of the study conducted by UK Biobank were published by influential trade magazine Drinks Business.

The study, published in Frontiers of Nutrition, looked at the medical records of 473,957 people - tracking alcohol consumption and Covid infections throughout the course of the pandemic.

“Adverse effects of alcohol consumption have been widely documented," the survey found.

"The observed relationships between alcohol consumption and diseases are often non-linear, with low-to-moderate alcohol consumption being protective and heavy alcohol consumption being harmful.”

It found that compared with non-drinkers, the Covid-19 risk was 10–17% lower in red wine consumers, and 7-8% lower in white wine and Champagne drinkers.

Beer and cider drinkers were found to be at a 28% increased risk of Covid infection compared to those who didn’t drink at all.

Drinks Business reported that Polyphenols in red wine could be an influence.

Scientists noted that these have antioxidant properties and this would explain why red wine was found to represent the greatest fall in Covid infection risk.

“Studies have shown that wines exhibit beneficial properties which are independent of the presence of alcohol, and should be attributed to their polyphenolic contents,” the study says.

“Red wine provides additional benefits to other alcoholic beverages probably due to its higher polyphenolic content, by decreasing blood pressure, inhibiting the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein particles and other favourable effects on the cellular redox state, improving endothelial function, inhibiting platelet aggregation, reducing inflammation and cell adhesion, and activating proteins that prevent cell death.”

The authors noted in conclusion that: "“Our study suggests that subjects who usually consumed red wine and white wine and Champagne above guidelines, and sometimes consumed 1-2 glasses/week fortified within the guidelines appear to have chances to reduce the risk of Covid-19.”

Food (or wine) for thought. But all things in moderation.

 Image: Manu Saez, Scopio

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