Drinking Red Wine Weekly May Up Pregnancy Chances

It has been established in several previous studies that drinking red wine, in moderation, is good for health. Now researchers from the US have come up with evidence in this regard that will make those women feel happy who are trying to conceive.

Drinking wine during pregnancy has long been under the scanner of health scientists. For decades researchers have suggested pregnant women to abstain from alcoholic drinks as it may cause birth defects and harm their babies’ foetal neurodevelopment.

The current research from the Washington University School of Medicine in the US has now proven that, as opposed to the previous beliefs, drinking wine, especially red wine, once every week may up women’s chances of conceiving.

The research findings showed that women who drank at least five glasses of red wine per month had a higher chance of preserved fertility than those who didn’t. It found that hopeful mothers who drank red wine weekly had a healthy ovarian reserve, which indicates a woman’s reproductive health. The scientists believe that this fertility boost in women could be due to the abundance of an antioxidant in red wine.

The US researchers point out that resveratrol, an antioxidant that protects cells against biological stress, occurs in high concentration in blueberries, cocoa and red grapes, and thereby in red wine.

To determine the effect of alcohol on fertility, a team of US physicians looked at 135 women aged between 18 and 44 and asked them to keep a diary detailing how much beer, spirits and red and white wine they drank each month. Their ovarian reserve was also measured to check their ovaries’ capacity to make healthy egg cells. Ultrasound scans were conducted on each woman in the study to count their antral follicles for the month that produce eggs.

The researchers found that women who consumed moderate amounts of red wine i.e. five or more glasses each month, were more likely to have the highest ovarian reserve than those who didn’t drink.

Several health experts welcomed the study findings but at the same time stressed that the results should be considered with caution. Adam Balen, head of the British Fertility Society, called the findings interesting but insisted that more research would be necessary in order to prove that a small amount of red wine might lead to health ovarian reserve.

“However we have to remember that the exposure of the developing foetus to alcohol may cause irreversible developmental damage and so alcohol consumption should be less than six units per week for women wishing to conceive,” Balen added.

The findings are due to be presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in San Antonio, Texas, next week.