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Red Wines Helps Prevent E. Coli, Other Food-born Diseases

  • Carol Pearson

Numerous studies show that a glass or maybe two of red wine can be good for your heart and even good for your waistline. Now researchers say red wine may also protect you from E. coli and other food-related diseases. Study also shows white wines did not help prevent or reduce negative effects of food-related illnesses. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.

Professor Azlin Mustapha at the University of Missouri says the study has shown that red wines do not harm useful bacteria in the stomach but do help protect against the harmful ones.

"We do know that they [red wines] actually kill these bugs as well as inhibit their growth. And the three [wines] that were the best among the ones we tested were Cabernet, Merlot, and Pinot Noir."

Professor Mustapha says certain chemical compounds occurring naturally in the vine or on the skin of the grape help the plant defend itself against diseases. She says these chemical compounds might also be found in red wine and that may be why it protects humans against certain disease-causing bacteria.

Some studies have disputed the benefits of drinking red wine. But Professor Mustapha says even when the researchers diluted red wines, they still killed or inhibited the growth of harmful bacteria.

"The key here is moderate consumption, meaning one glass about four ounces (about 120 ml) of red wine per day for females, a couple of glasses for males a day."

The researchers also evaluated white wines but found that only the red wines helped protect against the harmful bacteria.

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