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  • How Red Wine Improves Digestion: It Stimulates Stomach Acid Secretion

    July 6, 2012: by Bill Sardi

    Researchers in Vienna report that red wine, via its succinic acid content, stimulate gastric acid and that red wine provokes more acid secretion than white wine. This beneficial effect is produced by the irritation of the stomach lining, much like bitters are used for the same purpose. An abstract of the report is presented below.


    Identification of Organic Acids in Wine That Stimulate Mechanisms of Gastric Acid Secretion

    Kathrin Ingrid Liszt, Jessica Walker, and Veronika Somoza*

    Department of Nutritional and Physiological Chemistry, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria

    Journal Agriculture & Food Chemistry
    Publication Date (Web): June 18, 2012

    Abstract

    Wine may cause stomach irritation due to its stimulatory effect on gastric acid secretion, although the mechanisms by which wine or components thereof activate pathways of gastric acid secretion are poorly understood. Gastric pH was measured with a noninvasive intragastric probe, demonstrating that administration of 125 mL of white or red wine to healthy volunteers stimulated gastric acid secretion more potently than the administration of equivalent amounts of ethanol. Between both beverages, red wine showed a clear trend for being more active in stimulating gastric acid secretion than white wine (p = 0.054). Quantification of the intracellular proton concentration in human gastric tumor cells (HGT-1), a well-established indicator of proton secretion and, in turn, stomach acid formation in vivo, confirmed the stronger effect of red wine as compared to white wine. RT-qPCR experiments on cells exposed to red wine also revealed a more pronounced effect than white wine on the fold change expression of genes associated with gastric acid secretion. Of the quantitatively abundant organic acids in wine, malic acid and succinic acid most actively stimulated proton secretion in vitro. However, addition of ethanol to individual organic acids attenuated the secretory effect of tartaric acid, but not that of the other organic acids. It was concluded that malic acid for white wine and succinic acid for red wine are key organic acids that contribute to gastric acid stimulation.

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