Red wine is considered the healthiest alcoholic beverage. However, few people dare to drink it because of the headaches that often occur after drinking it.
A new study from the University of California, Davis, has cleared up this "ancient mystery" and explained why wine can cause headaches that are not related to hangovers.
Researchers believe that the culprit is the flavanol quercetin, which is naturally found in grapes and other fruits. Quercetin, interacting with alcohol, turns into quercetin glucuronide, which blocks the metabolism of alcohol.
In the presence of quercetin glucuronide, the second stage of alcohol breakdown is disrupted, leading to the accumulation of toxic acetaldehyde. High levels of this substance can cause headaches, facial flushing, and nausea. Some people, especially those with a history of migraines or headaches, may be more susceptible to this metabolic disorder.
The researchers plan to compare the effect of causing headaches with different red wines to confirm their theory. If this is successful, it will open up the possibility for further research and understanding of the effects of quercetin on individual susceptibility to red wine headaches.
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