Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

St. Paul’s medical advice to his disciple Timothy, “use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments,” holds up pretty well  according to some recent studies:

Scientists have found that components of red wine seem to improve intestinal health, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria. Research on human subjects is limited. But one recent study that examined the claim was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In it, a small number of healthy adults were instructed to avoid all alcohol for two weeks — a so-called washout period.

Then they went through three separate phases of 20 days each. In one, the subjects drank red wine, about a cup daily. In another, they drank the same amount of red wine daily, but this time with the alcohol removed. In the third, they drank up to 100 milliliters a day of gin each day.

In the end, the researchers found that both types of red wine produced improvements in the bacterial composition of the gut, lowered blood pressure and reduced levels of a protein associated with inflammation. Slight improvements in gut flora were seen among gin drinkers, but the effects in the wine drinkers were much more pronounced.

Luke may have been the apostle with medical training, but science is vindicating Paul’s homespun remedy.

Via @davidschaengold

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles