Red wine migraine trigger – Could red wine be back on the menu for migraineurs?

For many who suffer with migraines, certain foods and drinks are to be avoided at all costs, owing to their ability to trigger attacks. Red wine a common culprit, much to the annoyance of those who enjoy the taste and wish to drink the odd glass for its antioxidant properties, if nothing else!

If you have been reluctantly avoiding red wine because it triggers your migraines, you might be pleased to learn of a new research finding indicating that some types may be less likely to trigger attacks than others.

Red wine migraine trigger

Results from a small study by Abouch V. Krymchantowski, MD, PhD, of the Rio Headache Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, indicate that red wines with lower tannin content may be less likely to trigger migraine attacks than those containing higher tannin levels.

Tannins come from grape skins, stems and seeds, and can also enter the wine from the wood of the barrel it is stored in. Once in the wine, tannins create the drying bitterness that is characteristic of many red wines. In the body, they stimulate the release of serotonin, which is believed to be the pathway through which they trigger migraines.

The study tested wines from South Africa, where large variations in tannin content are often seen. Participants had a history of migraines triggered by red wine, and were asked to drink a half-bottle (37.5ml) of each of four different wines (malbec, tannat, carbernet sauvignon and merlot), with at least a four-day interval between each wine, to see if a migraine would be triggered.

The results showed that tannat and malbec wines – those with the highest tannin content – were most likely to trigger migraines.

So, if you miss your daily glass of red, a low-tannin variety might be just what you are looking for!

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