Drinking Wine And Coffee Can Be Good For Your Gut

First Posted: May 03, 2016 10:28 AM EDT

Wine, coffee and tea drinkers have a cause to rejoice. A new study has found out that all three beverages are linked to a healthier and more diverse microbiome in the gut.

The microbiome in the human body mainly consists of beneficial viruses, fungi and bacteria that live in and on the body. The microbes do not share the same DNA as the body; however, they help a person in processing food and regulating the immune system. According to recent studies, the constituency of a person's microbial community also plays a role in obesity, mood disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and other diseases. Incidentally, scientists are at present trying to determine what a healthy microbiome looks like this is a relatively new field of study.

As per the study published in the Science journal, it was found that 126 factors are linked to changes in the composition of an individual's microbial community, which includes four smoking categories, 19 drugs, 12 diseases and 60 dietary factors. "In total we found 60 dietary factors that influence diversity," said Alexandra Zhernakova, researcher from Netherlands's University of Groningen (RUG). "But there is good correlation between diversity and health: greater diversity is better." The researchers from RUG conducted a large scale study where they inspected the microbial composition of more than 1,100 people's guts. The experts also observed the stool samples of 1,135 Dutch volunteers in the Lifelines-DEEP study.

After analyzing and comparing the samples and with other data collected in the Lifelines-DEEP study, the researchers discovered that the intake of yogurt, vegetables and fruits had a positive influence on the gut's microbial diversity. Furthermore, it was found that drinking buttermilk, coffee, tea and wine also added more diversity. On the other hand, consuming savory snacks and sugary sodas led to lower levels of diversity. Another point revealed by the study was that the microbial diversity is greater in older people as compared to the younger population, and women also tend to have more diversity. The study, however, has not established why or how certain food and beverages influence the behavior of the microbes.

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