Can red wine improve your gut health?

Can red wine improve your gut health?

September 17, 2019

A recent study by researchers at King’s College in London found that …”drinking red wine in moderation improves the bacterial diversity in our gut and may protect our overall health.” Well if the research says so… 


Whilst you pour that Pinot Noir in celebration, we thought we’d dive into some other research on gut health and how a healthy gut contributes to your overall glow and wellbeing. 


Even if you eat a balanced diet, if your gut health is not in tip top shape it is likely that you are missing out on adequately absorbing those important nutrients you have been so careful about. The intestines are also home to a wide range of good bacteria called gut microbiota. These bacteria aid digestion, protect the intestinal wall and support normal immune function.


Did you also know that a large part of your immune system resides in your gut? 

Not only this, but mental health and gut health are shown to have a direct correlation. There is a reason the gut is often referred to as your “Belly Brain” For example, when you are excessively stressed, you can bet your Lululemon tights this is going to affect your gut health (which will then affect your skin, and so on) 

So what can we do to encourage a healthy Belly Brain, aka gut? 


Probiotics

We are all pretty familiar with the benefit of taking probiotics; nothing helps sell yoghurt like a label that tells you how alive it is. Studies on probiotics recommend choosing a probiotic with at least 1 billion colony forming units (CFU’s) and containing the genus Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium or Saccharomyces boulardii, some of the most researched probiotics. Generally, a high quality probiotic causes no significant side effects, other than an improvement in your gut health. However, probiotics can be tricky. Not every probiotic is right for each person. Sometimes it's about finding the right fit. 

We strongly recommend speaking to a naturopath to get the best advice on which probiotic would be best for your personal microbiome (the 100 trillion or so bacteria and microorganisms that live in your digestive tract). 


Hydrolysed Collagen

Of course you know we live for collagen! Scientific research has shown collagen synthesis to be an essential biological process in repairing the intestinal lining. The unique structural properties and amino acid profile of collagen allows this protein to help in reducing gut inflammation, heal stomach ulcers, aid in digestion, and regulate stomach acid secretion. Collagen synthesis is an important part of the process of repairing and healing your intestinal lining. 

But why, and how? 

When there is damage or inflammation to the intestinal lining, new smooth muscle cells are made to heal the stomach lining and the intestinal wall. Studies have discovered that collagen production in the intestine is greatest when smooth muscle cells are being generated during healing, making collagen a key part of healing the intestinal wall. 

Supplementing with collagen may help to repair and heal the stomach lining, and make a much better environment for a healthy gut microbiota. 

Another benefit of using a high quality hydrolysed marine collagen is that it is full of glycine - an amino acid that helps to balance stress hormones and increase sleep (whilst reducing day-time fatigue). Marine collagen is best for this as it contains only type 1 collagen and is the highest in glycine. 


Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are preserved using a process that not only boosts the food’s shelf life and nutritional value, but can give your body a dose of healthy probiotics, says Dr. David S. Ludwig, a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. 

Naturally fermented foods have been in the spotlight for the last few years; health experts believe they may help strengthen your gut microbiome. Researchers are beginning to link these tiny organisms to the reduction of all sorts of health conditions from obesity to neurodegenerative diseases.


So while you sip that red wine, have a think about incorporating a fermented food such as Sauerkraut or kimchi, and perhaps a specific-to-you high quality probiotic.

And for all your marine collagen requirements, look no further  !


It can take time to heal your ‘belly brain’, but it’s going to be worth it! 





Information and excerpts in this article can be found at the following places: 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/fermented-foods-for-better-gut-health-2018051613841

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-pick-the-best-probiotic-for-you/

https://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(19)41244-4/pdf?referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gastrojournal.org%2Farticle%2FS0016-5085%2819%2941244-4%2Ffulltext

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3792777

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14600124

https://www.zrtlab.com/blog/archive/glycine-big-impact-sleep/