Wine Bacteria - Good for You!

Bacteria in wine may bring health benefits
By Agata Blaszczak BoxeSource: Fox News (excerpts) - by Agata Blaszczak
There are bacteria in wine that may be beneficial for people's health, new research finds.
In the study, researchers in Spain isolated 11 strains of bacteria from wine, including strains of Lactobacillus, which are also found in yogurt, as well as Oenococcus and Pediococcus bacteria, which are associated with the wine-making process.
"Up to now, many studies have reported that the best [foods] to deliver probiotics are dairy fermented products, so that the probiotic properties of wine-related [Lactobacillus] were hardly studied," said study author Dolores Gonzalez de Llano of Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain.
But "nowadays, there is a need for novel and nondairy probiotics.  
Probiotics are live organisms that can bring health benefits when consumed in the right amounts, Gonzalez de Llano said. Consuming probiotics may be beneficial primarily for maintaining a healthy community of gut bacteria and bowel function, she said, adding that probiotics have also been reported to possibly have anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering properties.
The probiotic properties of the lactic-acid bacteria isolated from wine are similar to those of probiotics that come from foods like dairy products such as fermented milk or yogurt and dry sausages, and foods of plant origin such as sauerkraut and olives, fruits, cereals, meat or fish, she said.
The new findings do not mean, however, that drinking a couple glasses of wine a day will provide the same health benefits as eating a food like yogurt, she said.
Even though the moderate consumption of wine, which she defined as two glasses per day, may confer certain health benefits, wine does not currently provide a sufficient amount of probiotics to be beneficial, because many of the bacteria are eliminated during a process called sulfating, which stabilizes wine, she said. (Sulfating is the process of adding sulfites, which are preservatives commonly used in winemaking.)

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