Red wine headaches have been a mystery to many people, and now, a study published in ‘Science Advances’ has shed some light on the cause. The team from the University of California, Davis (USA) has found that flavanol, a compound found naturally in red wines, is responsible for these headaches.
Flavanol is a type of antioxidant that can interfere with the proper metabolism of alcohol and cause headaches. When consumed with red wine, it can be converted into quercetin glucuronide, which blocks the metabolism of alcohol and causes an accumulation of acetaldehyde toxin in the body. This toxin is known to cause flushing, headache and nausea.
The study was led by Apramita Devi and Maurice Levine from the University of California-San Francisco. They believe that when sensitive individuals consume wine with even moderate amounts of quercetin, they develop headaches, especially if they already have migraine or another primary headache condition.
However, it’s important to note that not all red wines contain high levels of quercetin. Quercetin levels can vary significantly depending on how the wine is made. The researchers plan to conduct a clinical trial using red wines high in quercetin and low in quercetin to test their theory about red wine headaches in humans.
While this study provides some insight into the cause of red wine headaches, there are still many unknowns about why some people seem more susceptible than others and whether other factors play a role as well. More research is needed before we fully understand this ancient mystery.