Red wine has long been associated with good health. Red wine is believed to contain antioxidants that prevent heart disease.
However, some recent studies suggest that drinking too much red wine can cause black stools. Is this true or false?
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol such as red wine can increase the risk of developing liver problems.
This is because alcohol damages the cells lining the stomach and intestines. The damaged cells release toxins into the bloodstream, causing them to accumulate in the liver. But what does this do to the color of your stool?
In this article, we look at whether red wine could be the cause of black stools or if it could be a more serious issue that needs to be seen by your doctor. Let’s jump in.
Can Red Wine Cause Black Stools?
Indeed, certain types of red wine can often cause black stools. Many lovers of red wine have reported experiencing black (fecal) substances in their stools, the morning after they have consumed the wine.
This could be a result of the pigments and tannins located in the skins of red grapes.
The changes are based on the type of red wine, the variety of grape in the wine, as well as the farming practices employed when making the wine. These changes might not apply to all red wines.
However, this condition only affects a very small number of people, and this means most red wine drinkers experience no black stool at all.
It is more common in those who drink red grape-based wine like cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, to experience any sort of black stools.
If you find yourself with black stools the morning after indulging in your favorite red wine, it is usually going to be minimal, and your best bet would be to simply be avoiding alcohol for a few days.
If the issue persists, then it could be an indication that something more serious is going on, and you should seek advice from a medical professional.
Can Red Wine Cause Constipation?
Red wine contains high levels of tannins which are naturally found in grapes. Tannins help protect the skin from sunburns and also help keep your mouth healthy by preventing tooth decay.
They also have anti-inflammatory properties, making them useful for relieving joint pain.
However, if you drink too many glasses of red wine on an everyday basis, they may start to affect your digestive system.
When you consume large quantities of tannin-rich foods like red wine, these chemicals bind to proteins in your gut and form complexes known as tannin-protein aggregates.
These complexes then pass through your digestive tract without being broken down.
When these complexes reach your colon, they attach themselves to bacteria there and prevent them from breaking down food.
As a result, undigested food particles remain in your bowel, forming hard lumps called fecaliths.
If you continue to eat, these lumps eventually become so big that they block your intestine and stop normal digestion.
This is why people who regularly drink red wine often experience constipation. It’s not just the amount of alcohol that causes this problem; it’s the tannins present in red wine.
How Does Alcohol Affect Bowel Movement?
Although red wine, in particular, can cause constipation, what about other forms of alcohol? Alcohol can affect your bowel movements.
Drinking even one alcoholic beverage per day can increase the risk of developing chronic constipation.
Alcohol has been shown to slow down the movement of water through your intestines. This can lead to dehydration and diarrhea.
The other thing that happens when you drink alcohol is that the muscles around your stomach relax. This makes it harder to push out waste products.
If you do suffer from constipation, it is important to make sure that you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
Drinking lots of water will ensure that you stay hydrated and flush out toxins. You should also try eating fiber-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. Fiber helps move waste along your digestive tract.
Are There Other Consequences Of Drinking Red Wine?
As with everything, consuming too much of something at one time can lead to problems.
This means drinking large quantities of red wine could cause vomiting, seizure blackouts, and issues with staying focused.
When drunk in excess, it could also trigger liver, heart, and pancreas-related issues, and if these are not addressed and you continue drinking, it could lead to cancerous growth.
As with all alcohol, you need to know your limits to avoid these difficulties.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Red Wine?
Though red wine can sometimes produce black stools and constipation, there are still some health benefits of red wine you should be aware of. These include:
1. Protecting Your Heart
It is well established that moderate consumption of alcohol reduces your risk of heart disease.
A study carried out at Harvard University showed that men who drank two or three drinks per day were less likely to die from coronary artery disease than those who did not drink any alcohol.
2. Improving Brain Function
Drinking red wine improves brain function. Studies show that regular drinkers perform better on memory tests than non-drinkers. One theory behind this is that alcohol increases blood flow to the brain.
3. Preventing Cancer
Drinking red wine could reduce your risk of cancer. According to research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, women who consumed more than seven drinks per week had a lower risk of breast cancer.
4. Contains Antioxidants
Red wine contains antioxidants that help fight against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that damage cells.
They are believed to be responsible for aging and some diseases, including cancer.
Antioxidants protect cells by neutralizing free radicals before they have a chance to harm your body.
Other Causes Of Black Stools
Black stools can be caused by many different things, but most commonly by diet. Some other common causes of the black stool are listed below, and if it is anything but diet, it is advised you see a medical professional:
Stomach ulcers: Gastric ulcers are small tears in the lining of the stomach. They may bleed easily and cause black stools.
Diarrhea: If you have diarrhea, then you are losing too much fluid. This leads to dehydration and black stools.
Food poisoning: Certain types of food poisoning can cause black stools. For example, salmonella poisoning can cause black staining.
Intestinal parasites: Intestinal parasites can cause black stools if they enter your bloodstream.
Liver problems: Liver problems can cause black stools because the liver produces bile which helps digest fat. When the liver does not work properly, bile production slows down. Bile is normally yellowish, but dark brown bile indicates liver problems.
Kidney stones: Kidney stones are hard deposits made up of minerals found in urine. The stones form when the kidneys fail to eliminate these minerals. As a result, they accumulate and become painful.
Bowel Ischemia: Bowel ischemia occurs when the blood supply to the bowel is cut off. It usually happens after major surgery, such as an abdominal operation.
In rare cases, it can happen spontaneously without warning. Symptoms include severe pain, vomiting, lack of appetite, and bloody stools, leading them to look black and tarry.
We hope after reading this article you have learned all you need to know about whether red wine can cause black stools.
Often, it is due to the pigments and tannins located in the skins of red grapes, and it is usually not serious.
If you ever experience black stools without drinking wine, it is always advisable to seek medical help as it could be a sign of something more serious.
Remember, with red wine and as with all alcohol, drink in moderation, know your limits, and drink responsibly!