Research developed by researchers in the Department of Cancer Biology at China Medical University (CMU), Taiwan, and published in the American Journal of Cancer Research at the end of last year (November 2020) indicates that tannic acid, very present in red wine, can help to drastically reduce Covid-19 infection. The researchers concluded that the compound has inhibitory functions that prevent the functioning of the two main enzymes for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The research analyzed the inhibitory enzymatic disposition of six natural compounds and identified that tannic acid can decrease the enzymatic activity of the coronavirus by up to 90%. Thus, hindering the increase in viral load. Tannic acids are antioxidants and free radical scavengers, which act with anti-inflammatory effects. According to one of the researchers, Mien-Chie Hung, president of CMU, the tannins would be able to prevent infection and control the growth of viruses.
Despite the positive results, it is not yet possible to say scientifically that drinking wine helps fight the disease - the study is not yet conclusive. Since tannic acid has a positive effect in combating covid-19 infection, the next step is to find out if foods with a lot of tannins, such as tea, grapes, nuts, açaí, dark chocolate, malt, and hops, among others, in fact, can be used to combat Covid-19.
In addition to tannic acid, experiments were carried out with catechin, kaempferol, quercetin, proanthocyanidin, and resveratrol, all substances proven to be active in suppressing infections by other types of coronaviruses identified before the current pandemic. Among the compounds, the only tannin demonstrated a significant response specifically for Sars-CoV-2.
The positive impact of moderate consumption of wine in combating diseases is a theme that has been recurring for over 20 years. And when it comes to viruses, wine is a great natural mouthwash. In addition to cleaning the pharynx, where the virus loves to be sheltered.
In this way, this research becomes a great insight for future research in order to discover the real impact of tannins on organisms affected by covid-19.
According to experts, this research was done in vitro, that is, they took the virus in the laboratory and put it in contact with these isolated polyphenols to see if they prevent the virus from entering the cell. In the future, there needs to be a study in humans, to see if this viral implication can alleviate the symptoms of the COVID-19 infection.
What are tannins?
Scientifically speaking, tannins are nothing more than polyphenols, that is, organic substances that combine various bonds of hydrogen and oxygen.
They are found mainly on the outside of various types of plants, functioning as a defense mechanism against pests and predators. This is because, as they taste bitter and cause a sensation of astringency, they inhibit insect attacks.
They can also be found in beer but their excess causes astringency, or aftertaste, when the aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel persist after drinking the beer.
Find out what other great benefits wine can provide
1. Protects your heart
Researchers point out that moderate consumption of red wine (two glasses a day) can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 20%.
This conclusion is recognized by important medical institutions, such as the American Heart Association, the Brazilian Society of Hypertension, and the European Society of Cardiology
That's because, red wine is rich in polyphenols, substances present in the grape skins, which increase the levels of good cholesterol, HDL, and decrease the levels of bad cholesterol, LDL.
Other benefits of moderate consumption of red wine for heart health include lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation and lipid oxidation, and increasing blood vessel dilation capacity.
2. Makes your skin shine
Resveratrol, a substance present in the skin of grapes and in red wine, slows down the action of free radicals, preserving the beauty of the skin for much longer.
In addition, polyphenols, another substance present in red wine, improve microcirculation and skin hydration.
3. Prevents depression and Alzheimer
Wine can also be an ally in fighting depression!
This is what a study published in BMC Medicine points out.
The study, carried out with more than five thousand men and women, revealed that those who consumed moderate amounts of wine, had a lower incidence of depression, when compared to people who did not drink alcohol regularly.
This fact can be explained by the substances present in wine, which promote the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and endorphin.
These are the same hormones released by the body during the practice of physical activities, being responsible for the sensations of pleasure and relaxation.
A series of studies, carried out in the last decade, show that the regular consumption of red wine decreases the chances of memory deterioration, Alzheimer's and dementia.
This is due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action of the substances present in red wine, which act against free radicals and can slow the progression of degenerative neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's.
4. Prevents Diabetes
Some studies point out that moderate consumption of wine can help prevent diabetes.
Substances present in red wine, such as polyphenols, have a beneficial action on blood sugar, increasing insulin and reducing glucose.
Research from Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel has revealed that the alcohol present in both red and white wine helps to reduce glucose control.
However, this depends on the alcohol metabolizing capacity of each individual, which varies according to the genetic profile.
5. Consuming wine can slow the growth of cells in some malignant tumors
Scientists at the University of Crete, Greece, prove that wine can slow the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells, as well as prevent the development of tumors in the mouth.
Moreover, french scientists have found evidence that the wine's antioxidant called resveratrol may contain the growth of liver cancer cells.
In the UK, scientists at the University of Leicester reported during the Second International Scientific Conference on Resveratrol and Health, that regular and moderate consumption of red wine can reduce the rate of intestinal tumors by approximately 50%.
In the American publication Journal of Women's Health, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles explained that the chemicals present in the skins and seeds of purple grapes reduce estrogen levels and increase testosterone in pre-menopausal women, the which results in a lower risk of developing breast cancer in this age group. A result contrary to what the studies pointed out until then.
6. Will make you live longer
According to a research by Harvard Medical School, resveratrol has an anti-aging effect, being linked to the SIRT1 gene, which encodes structural proteins and enzymes in our body.
Another study, from the University of London, revealed that another component present in wine, procyanidins, helps to maintain the health of blood vessels.
This is one of the factors that explains the longevity of the populations of southwestern France and Sardinia, Italy, where wine is consumed on a regular basis, accompanying meals.