Renew You Challenge

Let’s start this week off right!

Here is your newest weekly challenge (I mean opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot and in the right direction for bringing health to your week. You could even add it to your calendar. Join us! 

For many people alcohol consumption should be avoided. Candida overgrowth, liver conditions, metabolic syndrome (a mix of high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and abdominal fat), and many digestive conditions all improve when alcohol is avoided. If you have one of these conditions and you haven’t removed alcohol, I urge you to do so. Your health will improve in many ways.

That said, the research behind the beneficial effects of alcohol, most notably red wine, receive a lot of attention. I came across an interesting study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In the study, ten healthy men went through four phases: 15 days of alcohol avoidance, followed by 20 days of red wine intake, 20 days of de-alcoholized red wine intake, and 20 days of gin intake. Changes in gut bacteria were monitored by stool DNA testing along the way. The researchers found interesting benefits in both the red wine and de-alcoholized red wine.

“We found that the red wine polyphenols can inhibit non-beneficial bacteria from the human microbiota and potentiate the growth of probiotic bacteria such as bifidobacteria, which could be implicated in the reduction of CRP [C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation] and cholesterol observed in our study, promoting health benefits in the host,” stated the researchers. “This was the first in vivo study to show that regular moderate consumption of red wine would have a noteworthy effect on the growth of select gut microbiota.”

Before you go out and binge on red wine, do know that alcohol is often more detrimental than it is beneficial. I am not recommending a daily glass of red wine. If you do not have any health conditions that may be worsened by alcohol (the list is long), you’ll probably be OK with a drink here and there. This week, if you pour yourself a drink, make it red wine. Incidentally, Pinot Noir contains the highest levels of resveratrol.