Researchers at the Headache Center of Rio, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil evaluated whether different varieties of red wines would trigger migraine differently. The researchers were also curious to see whether varying levels of reseveratrol and flavonoids made a difference. Reseveratrol is an active ingredient found in the skin of of red grapes. It has long been known to reduce the risk of heart disease. Flavonoids are compounds found in fruits and vegetables and can provide antioxidant benefits. The study focused on migraineurs who considered themselves regular wine drinkers, and who also reported a relationship between wine intake and migraine attacks. The patients were asked to drink half bottles of various red wines. The wines included merlot, cabernet sauvignon, malbec and tannat. The participants were asked to take a minimum break of 4 days in between each wine testing. Approximately 87% of the patients experienced a migraine at least one time within 12 hours of having wine. However, just 54% reported migraine attacks on at least two occasions, and 33% reported migraine attacks in all 4 wine testing sessions. When the researchers compared the wine types in the patients who had at least two migraine attacks after trying all four wines, the malbec and tannat varieties triggered migraine more often than the merlot or cabernet sauvignon.
The researchers concluded that the migraineurs studied, who all stated red wine was a trigger for them, did not get migraines most of the time. Interestingly though, while the tannat and malbec wines used were most responsible for triggering migraines, they also had the highest amount of flavonoid content! Before you consider changing your choice of red wine however, keep in mind that the researchers believe controlled studies are needed to confirm their observations…. Headache The Journal of Head and Face Pain May 2012