Thursday, August 27, 2009

Something else to digest about wine: good for the GI tract

85. When I was in my general surgery residency before training in plastic surgery, we did a lot of surgery for peptic ulcers, which are prone to bleeding and causing major problems. Advice for dealing with ulcers always included things like avoiding spicy foods and alcohol. some years later, it was determined that most ulcers are associated with a particular type of bacteria, not simply excess acid. As it turns out, wine polyphenols inhibit this bacteria (called Helicobacter pylorii), so better advice is to drink wine. Another one of those counterintuitive things about healthy drinking.
86. In the same vein, another problem is refulux of gastric acids into the esophagus, which over time causes changes in the esophageal lining leading to a particularly nasty type of cancer. Interestingly, red wine seems to thwart these changes, another counterintuitive finding.

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