Hide this

Will We Soon Know the Cause of 'Red Wine Headache'?

November 24, 2007 | 49,024 views
Share This Article Share

A new device may be able to detect chemicals in red wine that lead to the dreaded “red wine headache,” according to University of California, Berkeley researchers.

The chemicals are called biogenic amines, and they’re found in a variety of fermented foods including wine, cheese, olives, nuts, cured meats and chocolate.

Red wine headache is thought to be caused by two amines called tyramine and histamine, but other potential causes also exist.

The new detector, which is the size of a small suitcase, can analyze a drop of wine and determine its amine levels in five minutes. The researchers are in the process of developing a pocket-sized version that you can take with you to a restaurant to test wine at your table.

Red wine and sake were found to have the highest amine levels, while beer had the lowest, researchers said.

Some experts recommend that those who do experience headaches after drinking red wine avoid amine-rich food and drinks. Aside from headaches, amines can also trigger high blood pressure, heart palpitations and elevated adrenaline levels.


What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.

Donate Today!


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Regular newsletter readers know that I LOVE gadgets … but this is one gadget that I’ll be taking a pass on.

Folks, if wine gives you a headache, there’s no need for you to test it to find out just how bad for you it may be. Any pain in your body is a sign that something is out of balance and harmony. And if your head hurts from drinking wine, then you should listen to your body and stop drinking it.

Many of you, however, may decide to drink red wine because you believe it has some health benefits. Indeed, there is some evidence that points to wine’s positive impact on heart disease, lifespan and more.

Much of the benefit appears to be due to an antioxidant, resveratrol, found in grape skins and red wine. Resveratrol belongs to a family of compounds known as polyphenols, which are known to combat damaging free radicals in your body.

It appears that resveratrol lowers your "bad" LDL cholesterol while raising "good" HDL cholesterol and decreases the production of a protein that plays a major role in your development of heart disease.

Resveratrol was also found to extend the lifespan of yeast cells by up to 80 percent, and researchers are hoping to prove that the molecules will have similar effects on worms, fruit flies and even humans. 

Resveratrol is truly one of the most exciting antioxidants out there, but there are challenges when you receive it from drinking wine as the alcohol in the wine is not something that is intrinsically good for you.

Alcohol, in any form, is a neurotoxin that can poison your brain and leave you more vulnerable to various forms of cancer, which is why I personally do not advocate drinking any amount of wine.

People with high blood pressure, extra weight, diabetes, or high cholesterol should be even more cautious when it comes to alcohol -- including wine -- as it increases your insulin levels.

So, if you want the health benefits of red wine, without the alcohol, what should you do? There are a number of different companies that produce quality resveratrol supplements right now. It is important to focus on products that have the WHOLE grape skins and seeds, however.

And remember, if you are drinking wine thinking it is a safe form of alcohol, think again. If you are healthy (and not overweight), you can probably get by with drinking a small amount of wine without causing yourself major problems.

Ideally, though, I’d recommend passing on the wine and enjoying a glass of sparkling mineral water instead. My favorite is Pellegrino.

Having said that, it is important to understand some important facts on resveratrol supplementation. Because this antioxidant is soluble in alcohol you will get far more absorption if you consume it in an alcohol base as opposed to swallowing it from a pill. So while there are clearly distinct and negative consequences to consuming alcohol, these are partially compensated for by its ability to increase the absorption of resveratrol into your blood where it performs its magic.

Please recognize, though, that this is really only applicable for red wine, as the amount of resveratrol in white wine is minimal and not really clinically significant.

[+] Sources and References

Thank you! Your purchases help us support these charities and organizations.

Food Democracy Now
Mercury Free Dentistry
Fluoride Action Network
National Vaccine Information Center
Institute for Responsible Technology
Organic Consumers Association
Center for Nutrtion Advocacy
Cornucopia Institute
Vitamin D Council
GrassrootsHealth - Vitamin D*action
Alliance for Natural Health USA
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation
The Rabies Challenge Fund
Cropped Catis Mexico