3 Weird Health Benefits of Wine

You already know that wine may be good for your heart, but the drink comes with a few other health perks.

Usually if anyone who says they're allergic to alcohol, they’re actually sensitive to an ingredient in certain drinks. A common allergen is sulfites, says Dr. McGrath, which are compounds present in red wine and dark beer that can cause itchy eyes and a runny or stuffy nose.Other root causes of allergies to booze can include hops or gluten (in beer), potatoes (in vodka), and mixers made with fruits or nuts (in cocktails). Dr. McGrath says he’s heard of people being physically allergic to alcohol itself, but he’s never seen a case himself. Getty Images

Drinking too much alcohol is never good for your health, but if there’s one drink you should choose, it may be wine. Any alcohol in moderation (that is, no more than one glass per day) may help protect the heart and blood vessels from cell-damaging free radicals, according to the American Heart Association. But does wine have some added benefits? Check out some more surprising reasons to kick back with a glass of wine:

It may improve your skin

Wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol, typically found in grapes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Studies suggest it can prevent damage to blood vessels and lower bad cholesterol levels, but new research says it might do wonders for your skin. A study in Dermatology and Therapy found that resveratrol was able to inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria longer than the common acne treatment benzoyl peroxide, and it worked even better when combined with benzoyl peroxide. But the study was conducted on acne cells under a microscope, not on human skin. There are some skincare companies, like Caudalie, that include resveratrol in their products for its alleged anti-aging benefits. But research hasn’t yet proved topical application of the antioxidant to be as effective as drinking it.

It could help keep your teeth healthy

A glass of red wine may protect your teeth and gums. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistryfound that red wine has antimicrobial powers against bacteria that cause decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Researchers dipped biofilms of oral bacteria in several types of liquids, including Pinot Noir with and withoutalcohol. Both types of vino were more effective at killing bacteria than a solution of water and 12% alcohol. They suspect it has something to do with wine’s polyphenols, a group of phytochemicals that includes resveratrol, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Of, course a glass of wine is no substitute for brushing.

It might protect against a cold

Sipping some wine could be a potential sniffle-buster. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology looked at the drinking habits of more than 4,000 faculty members at five different universities in Spain. They participants were also asked to record their cold symptoms. After a year, the people who drank mostly wine were less likely to come down with a cold than people who didn’t drink at all or people who drank beer or spirits. The association was stronger for red wine. Because red wine is so rich in antioxidants, researchers think that it could work to lower inflammation and reduce your body’s immune response that leads to cold symptoms. Cheers to that!

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