Probiotics are the good bacteria in the gut that promote a balanced digestive environment and support healthy digestion and immune function. To find them in our daily diets, we often look to fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir and kombucha, but one study found the same beneficial microbes may be found in your wine glass.
Researchers in Spain looked at nearly a dozen strains of bacteria commonly found in wine, including some strains of Lactobacillus (found in yogurt). They discovered that not only could those strains survive exposure to gastric juices and enzymes in our saliva—which can damage bacterial cell walls—but that they did it even better than many commonly used strains. In addition, the strains of bacteria isolated from wine were shown to be especially good at sticking to the intestinal walls, which means they could help harmful bacteria from entering the gut and potentially damaging our health.
However, before you decide that a glass or two of your favorite vintage is all you need to support a healthy, balanced gut, keep in mind that it may not be enough. Much of the good bacteria used in the wine-making process are eliminated during another process called sulfating—during which sulfites are added to help preserve the wine and prevent oxidation.