Research: Red Wine Reduces Risk of Covid

As a study reveals red wine potentially lowers the chances of catching Covid, findings suggest those drinking beer and cider might be at increased risk

Those of you who take part in 'Dry January' may well want to look away now. That’s because this week a major new British study has revealed that red wine could help to reduce your risk of contracting Covid-19. 

The good news doesn’t stop there though. According to the research, white white and champagne were also found to have protective qualities that help to keep Covid at bay. 

Published in Frontiers of Nutrition, the study tracked alcohol consumption and Covid infection during the pandemic.

Research took in analysis from over 473,000 people in the UK who are part of the UK Biobank study and found that those consuming up to 14 glasses of red wine per week were 10-17 percent less likely to get Covid. 

However, on delivering this seemingly good news, the report was also quick to remind us that the adverse effects of alcohol consumption are widely documented as it offered a note of caution. 

“The observed relationships between alcohol consumption and diseases are often non-linear, with low-to-moderate alcohol consumption being protective and heavy alcohol consumption being harmful,” the report said. 

Interestingly, white wine and champagne drinkers had to keep to one to four glasses a week to benefit from a 7 to 8% lowering of risk, as results revealed going above this was also counterproductive.  

However, as Wine Searcher notes, perhaps the most fascinating thing revealed by the report is that beer and cider drinkers have a higher risk of contracting Covid-19. They were found to have a 28% greater chance of contracting Covid in comparison to non-drinkers.

In comparison, those drinking fortified wine and spirits were were found to be at lower risk when ensuring they drank in moderation. Spirit drinkers were said to be ‘Covid-19 neutral’ when drinking up to four glasses per week, with fortified wine drinkers risk dropping by 12 percent when drinking no more than two glasses per week. So, what’s at play here? 

With previous studies having shown that wines exhibit ‘beneficial properties’ independent of the presence of alcohol the study suggests attributing these to their polyphenolic contents. 

“Red wine provides additional benefits to other alcoholic beverages probably due to its higher polyphenolic content, by decreasing blood pressure, inhibiting the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein particles and other favorable effects on the cellular redox state, improving endothelial function, inhibiting platelet aggregation, reducing inflammation and cell adhesion, and activating proteins that prevent cell death,” confirm the authors.

Summing up their report findings, they go on to note that those who usually consume red wine, white wine and champagne above guidelines and sometimes consume 1–2 glasses per week fortified within the guidelines appear to have chances to reduce the risk of COVID-19.