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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Wine Beats Yogurt in Health Stakes !



Probiotic levels in wine beat more traditional dairy sources of good bacteria, a new study in Spain reveals.


Yet more good news for wine lovers, after scientists announced that healthy probiotics bacteria have been discovered in wine and may be beneficial for people's health.

The bad news is that the process of adding sulfites (or sulfur dioxide) to wine, kills them off, meaning either winemakers have to isolate the probiotics before adding sulfur or drinkers have to stick to natural wines with no added sulfites.

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Researchers in Spain isolated 11 strains of bacteria from wine, including Lactobacillus, which is also found in yogurt, as well as Oenococcus and Pediococcus bacteria, which are associated with the winemaking process, according to the LiveScience website.

"Up to now, many studies have reported that the best [foods] to deliver probiotics are fermented dairy products, so that the probiotic properties of wine-related [Lactobacillus] were hardly studied," said Dolores González de Llano of Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain.

"Nowadays, there is a need for novel and non-dairy probiotics, from the increasing number of lactose-intolerance cases occurring in the world population, coupled with the unfavorable effect of cholesterol contained in fermented dairy products."
In the study, the researchers examined the ability of the bacteria they isolated from wine to survive in conditions similar to those found in the human gastrointestinal system.

The researchers looked to see whether the bacteria in wine could survive when exposed to simulated gastric juice, bile and lysozyme, an enzyme that is highly concentrated in human saliva that can damage bacterial cell walls.

They found that the bacteria could survive in such conditions, and their survival was comparable to or even better than the survival of several strains of bacteria known to be beneficial to human health. In particular, one strain of bacteria found in wine, called P. pentosaceus CIAL-86, had an "excellent" ability to stick to the intestinal wall and "good" activity against E. coli, the researchers said.

Probiotics are live organisms that are believed to be beneficial primarily for maintaining a healthy community of gut bacteria and bowel function, and may also have anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering properties.

Sadly, the report did not mention whether red or white wines produced the best probiotics, but red wine has been largely accepted as offering health benefits when drunk in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle.

However, it might be a while before it becomes socially acceptable to pour Cabernet on your cereal. Downing a couple of glasses of wine is unlikely to give the same probiotic effect as a bowl of yogurt, as healthy, moderate servings of alcohol do not contain enough of the probiotics to make a difference. Instead, the study said they could be harvested from the wine and distributed separately.

The findings of the new study will be published in the December issue of the journal Food Microbiology.

Source: http://www.wine-searcher.com/