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Red Wine Headache: Unraveling the Mystery of the 7 Common Culprits

Red Wine Headache: Unraveling the Mystery of the 7 Common Culprits

Red Wine Headache: Unraveling the Mystery of the 7 Common Culprits

According to US researchers, they may have uncovered why some people develop a headache after just one tiny glass of red wine, despite being alright with other types of alcohol.

According to the University of California scientists, this is due to a chemical found in red grapes that can interfere with how the body metabolizes alcohol.

The ingredient is quercetin, an antioxidant or flavanol.

They claim that Cabernets from the sunny Napa Valley have high quantities of it.

Grapes of superior grade

Red grapes make more quercetin whilst they may be exposed to sunshine.

And that intended greater expensive red wines, rather than cheap reds, could be worse for headache-susceptible human beings, one of the researchers, Prof Andrew Waterhouse, told BBC News.

“The cheap grape varieties are grown on vines with very big canopies and masses of leaves, in order that they don’t get as a whole lot solar,” he said. “Whereas the extraordinary grapes are from smaller vegetation with fewer leaves.

“The quantity of light is cautiously managed to improve the nice of the wine.”

Others are skeptical though.

Prof Roger Corder, an expert in experimental therapeutics, at Queen Mary University of London, advised BBC News anecdotal evidence suggested less expensive wines had been worse for headache, so information some of the additives used in making decrease-give up mass-marketplace pink wines might be greater informative.

Possible perpetrator

Several explanations have been proposed to explain red-wine headaches, which can occur within 30 minutes after even small amounts of consumption.

Some speculate that the cause could be sulphites, which are preservatives used to extend shelf life and keep wine fresh.

In general, sweet white wines have a higher sulphite concentration than reds.

While some people are allergic to sulphites and should avoid them, there is no evidence that they cause headaches.

Another likely reason is histamine, which is found in red wine more than white or rose wine.

Histamine has the ability to widen blood vessels in the body, which can cause headaches. But again, absolute proof is lacking.

Toxic substance

According to experts, more than one in every three people of East Asian ancestry are intolerant of any sort of alcohol – beer, wine, and spirits – and will experience face flushing, headaches, and nausea when they drink.

This is due to a gene that influences the activity of an alcohol-metabolizing enzyme called ALDH2 (aldehyde dehydrogenase).

In the body, alcohol is broken down in two steps: it is turned into the harmful chemical acetaldehyde, which ALDH2 subsequently converts into the innocuous acetate, which is effectively vinegar.

If this is not possible, toxic acetaldehyde accumulates, causing the symptoms.

A comparable route, according to the researchers, is involved in red-wine headache.

They demonstrated in the lab that quercetin could indirectly inhibit the function of ALDH2 via one of its own metabolites.

Remain tuned

Quercetin handiest will become complicated whilst mixed with alcohol, in step with the researchers, who crowd-funded for his or her work and have now posted the findings in Scientific Reports journal.

Quercetin is also determined in lots of other culmination and greens – and is even to be had as a fitness supplement because of its useful anti-inflammatory properties – and does now not seem to motive complications on its own.

The researchers nonetheless want to show their concept in humans and say a easy test might be to offer volunteers vulnerable to purple-wine headaches a quercetin complement or a dummy tablet, at the side of a general drink of vodka.

Co-creator Prof Morris Levin, an professional in neurology and director of the Headache Center on the University of California, San Francisco, said: “We are subsequently on the right music toward explaining this millennia-vintage thriller. The subsequent step is to test it scientifically on individuals who expand those headaches, so live tuned.”

They desire to start the ones studies in some months.

But Prof Corder, who has studied the possible fitness advantages of wine, suspects other elements are really worth exploring as headache triggers:

Drinking loads, speedy, or consuming to get under the influence of alcohol will have severe effects for quick- and long-time period health.

Red Wine Headache The 7 Common Culprits

Exploring the seven common culprits that is probably behind this enigmatic disorder.

1.Tannins: The Astringent Offender

Tannins, abundant in purple wines, make contributions to their structure and growing old ability. However, for a few people, those compounds can cause complications. Tannins have a drying effect and may purpose blood vessels to constrict, leading to complications in susceptible individuals.

2.Sulfites: Unraveling the Preservative Puzzle

Sulfites, frequently blamed for wine-associated complications, are preservatives utilized in winemaking. Contrary to popular belief, most effective a small percentage of the population is actually touchy to sulfites. Nonetheless, for those with sensitivity, keeping off wines with excessive sulfite content material can be a sensible desire.

3.Histamines: Uninvited Allergens in Your Glass

Histamines, natural compounds present in various ingredients and liquids, which include wine, can reason hypersensitive reactions. Red wines, mainly those aged in o.K.Barrels, generally tend to have better histamine stages. Allergic reactions may take place as complications, making it vital to be aware about histamine degrees in your selected wine.

4.Sugar Content: The Sweet Dilemma

While sweetness enhances the taste of purple wine, immoderate sugar intake can cause headaches. Opting for wines with decrease residual sugar can be a solution for the ones liable to complications. Understanding the sugar content in your selected red wine can significantly contribute to headache prevention.

5.Dehydration: A Common Culprit Overlooked

Often underestimated, dehydration plays a extensive function in red wine complications. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases urine production and might cause dehydration. Staying hydrated at the same time as playing pink wine can mitigate the hazard of headaches and make a contribution to an standard greater exciting revel in.

6.Tyramine: A Culprit in Aged Wines

Tyramine, a certainly happening compound in positive meals and wines, has been connected to headaches. Aged purple wines, which go through fermentation and growing older processes, can also have higher tyramine tiers. For headache-susceptible people, choosing more youthful purple wines is probably a sensible desire.

7.Individual Sensitivities: The X-Factor

Ultimately, man or woman variations play a pivotal position in crimson wine headaches. Factors which includes genetics, general health, and private sensitivities contribute to the variance in how individuals react to purple wine. Paying attention for your frame’s alerts and figuring out particular triggers can empower you to make informed selections when choosing red wines.


In end, unraveling the mystery of crimson wine complications entails a nuanced information of various factors. From tannins and sulfites to histamines and individual sensitivities, every detail contributes to the complicated interplay which can bring about pain. By being conscious of these factors and making informed selections, you can savor your pink wine with out the unwelcome side results.

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