It’s flu season; drink more wine
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Feb 07, 2018
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are giving people a new reason to have a glass of merlot—it can prevent severe flu.
A study found that a particular gut microbe, called flavonoids, actually does more than just digest your food, it also naturally breaks down compounds, in foods such as like wine, black tea and blueberries that could help fight infections.
Published in the journal Science, a lab test on mice explained that flavonoids found in these products worked with a particular gut micriobiome to create a metabolite that boosts the immune system response.
“For years, flavonoids have been thought to have protective properties that help regulate the immune system to fight infections,” author Ashley L. Steed, MD, PhD, an instructor in pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, said in a statement. “Flavonoids are common in our diets, so an important implication of our study is that it’s possible flavonoids work with gut microbes to protect us from flu and other viral infections,” she added.
The flu symptoms lessened and the time it took to return to health was also reduced in the mice test.
“Obviously, we need to learn more, but our results are intriguing,” Steed said.
View the abstract to the study here.