The Claim: A glass of wine with dinner aids digestion.
The Fact: Scientists are still trying to confirm the claim.
Some have found that alcoholic beverages speed the emptying of food from the stomach and stimulate gastric acid, while others maintain there is little effect.
One study in the journal Gut, may explain the discrepancy: it found an effect form fermented drinks (wine, sherry and beer) but not from drinks that were fermented and distilled, like rum, cognac and whiskey.
The scientists concluded that the constituents that stimulate gastric acid output and release of gastrin (a hormone that stimulates secretion of gastric acid) were most probably produce during the fermentation process and removed during distillation.
Other studies help explain why red wine and red meat pair so well. Protein softens the wine’s tannins and red wine also helps counteract potentially harmful substances - oxidised fats called malonaldehydes - released when meat is digested.
The Bottom Line: In more ways than one, a glass of wine may aid digestion.
- The New York Times