Of sommeliers and stomachs

Friday, July 4th, 2008

The Economist speaks of sommeliers and stomachs, exploring the health benefits of red wine, which is high in polyphenols, and how those polyphenols might help, since they don’t seem to make the trip from the stomach to the bloodstream in large amounts:

[Dr Kanner] and his colleagues fed a group of rats one of two meals — either red meat from a turkey (a foodstuff shown by previous research to raise malondialdehyde levels in humans) or such meat mixed with red-wine concentrate. An hour and a half after the rats had eaten, they were killed. Dr Kanner then removed their stomachs and analysed the contents. As he reports in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the wine concentrate did indeed reduce the formation of malondialdehyde. It also cut the level of hydroperoxides, another group of oxidising agents that cause cell damage.

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