New research from the University of California has found the real reason why you might get a headache after drinking red wine the night before.
The thing is that red wine contains a high concentration of the antioxidant quercetin, which originally comes from grapes. When consumed, quercetin interferes with the body’s metabolism of alcohol, which in turn can cause a buildup of the toxin acetaldehyde. It is known that it is considered a catalyst for facial flushing, nausea and, of course, headaches.
Fortunately for wine lovers, different types of wine contain different amounts of quercetin. Typically, wines made in sunny climates will have more quercetin because it is produced by exposure to sunlight.
It is important to understand that drinking alcohol in general causes dehydration and dilates blood vessels, which can also cause headaches. To avoid them, it is better to eliminate alcohol from your life in principle, or at least try not to take it on an empty stomach and monitor the water balance in the body.
Board-certified internist Jacob Teitelbaum adds that an individual’s sensitivity to sulfites can also play a role in headaches. According to Teitelbaum, the role of sulfites in red wine headaches has been previously studied and documented.
In another study, people with a history of red wine headaches were 22 times more likely to have a headache if they were given red wine with high sulfite content, as opposed to wine with low content.
The University of California scientists’ next goal is to study how people react to red wines high in quercetin compared to those low in quercetin. This could potentially be a cure for the disease in the future, although not a definitive cure.