Wine drinkers less likely to catch a cold

May 14, 2002 in Nutrition Topics in the News

Wine drinkers less likely to catch a cold

Many studies have found that a small to moderate amount of alcohol can reduce the risk of heart problems. Now, Spanish researchers report that wine drinkers are less likely than abstainers to come down with the common cold.

The investigation revealed that men and women who drank more than 14 glasses of wine each week had a 40% reduction in colds compared with people who drank no alcohol. The association was stronger for red wine and the same findings were not true for people consuming other types of alcoholic beverages.

It is not clear why wine drinkers had fewer colds. It's possible that some other factor associated with wine drinking--possibly a healthier lifestyle in general--could explain the link. The investigators speculate that substances called flavonoids, antioxidants found in grape skins and seeds, might have something to do with the findings.

Previous research has suggested that flavonoids have the ability to combat rhinoviruses, which are a major cause of colds.

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