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Can Wine Limit Your Flu Symptoms?

Can Wine Limit Your Flu Symptoms?

Laurita Winery , News , Wine Science , Wine Weirdness 🕔August 10, 2017 0 comments

Starve a cold and feed a fever, as the old wives tale goes. Or is it feed a cold and starve a fever? Whichever you do, when it comes to the flu… get it drunk!

OK. Not drunk, exactly. Having the flu doesn’t necessarily put us into a party state of mind anyway! But it turns out Mr. Teddy there may just want to trade his bottle of liquid-death-flavored cough and cold medicine in for a nice glass of red wine!

A new study, published in the journal Science (via Spectator Health), suggests that moderate levels of red wine can help the body fight off some of the more dangerous effects of the flu!

It’s all based on an interaction between flavonoids in red wine (yeah, and in some foods too, we guess) and intestinal microbes. The gut bacteria actually metabolize the flavonoids to boost the immune system.

This prevented influenza-related lung damage in the mice. It is this kind of damage that often causes significant complications such as pneumonia in people.

Science has known for some time now that flavinoids help to fight inflammation and infection by regulating the immune system. The missing piece of the puzzle was the microbes. (No wonder. Little buggers are really easy to overlook, being microscopic and all.)

Now that a specific microbe – clostridium orbiscindens – was identified as reactive to flavonoids, scientists were able to duplicate the natural effect by injecting mice with a metabolite from the interaction – desaminotyrosine, otherwise known as DAT.

Keep in mind, however, that wine won’t keep you from catching the flu in the first place. If that were the case, many of us would never be sick again! It only offers protective properties after you’ve been infected.

The microbes and DAT didn’t prevent the flu infection itself; the mice still had the virus. But the DAT kept the immune system from harming the lung tissue.

Still, if we have to choose between enjoying a glass of red wine and gobbling a handful of symptom-reducing pills…

Sign us up for the mouse medicine!!

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