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Is it true that wine can help prevent fat absorption, or reduce the impacts of high-fat foods?

Douglas De Jesus
Posted: January 25, 2017

Q: Is it true that wine can help prevent fat absorption, or reduce the impacts of high-fat foods? —Chris, Miami, Fla.

A: Recent research has shown that wine can have positive effects on fat absorption. In 2015, three studies found that ellagic acid, a chemical compound with antioxidant properties found in red grapes and wine, was effective in lowering glucose levels in lab mice, resulting in lowering fat accumulation in the liver. Another study, published in 2013 in the Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, concluded that resveratrol, a polyphenol found in grapes, berries and wine, impairs the ability of glucose to be absorbed by human fat cells. Another polyphenol found in red wine, piceatannol, was found to prevent the conversion of fat cells into fatty tissue by a 2012 report in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

According to Dr. R. Curtis Ellison, Professor of Medicine & Public Health at Boston University School of Medicine and Scientific Co-Director of the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research, drinking red wine can ameliorate some of the negative health effects of fatty foods. "Mixing wine with the food in preparation and/or having about 6 ounces of red wine with the meal blocks the production of [toxic oxidative substances that are produced in the stomach and blood after consuming fat], which are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer, as well as the risk of earlier death," Ellison writes via email. "Wine can also block the oxidation of the bad cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol, that raises the risk of CVD), which increases following the consumption of a high-fat meal, especially one containing red meat."

As always, consult your physician for the best treatment plan for any issues you may have with fat-related illnesses.

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