Health experts have long maintained that drinking red wine (in moderation, of course) can have a positive impact upon our health: It can lower our cholesterol levels, reduce risk of heart attacks, and even help keep our memories sharp as we age. Now, a new study has suggested that it might boost fertility in women, too.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, found that women who drink at least one glass of red wine per week had a better chance of becoming pregnant than those who didn’t. They also had a better ovarian reserve (the quality of eggs present in a woman’s ovaries). This could be due to the presence of resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red grapes, which also acts as a powerful anti-aging ingredient.
The study’s authors surveyed 135 women between the ages of 18 and 44, and asked them to keep a diary of how much alcohol they consumed every month. Over the same period, the women had regular ultrasound scans to assess how many viable eggs they had.
The women who drank at least five glasses of red wine over a month tended to have more viable eggs, regardless of other factors such as age and income. It’s important to take these findings with caution, however, given the small sample size used in the study. “It is an interesting idea that a small amount of red wine might be positively associated with ovarian reserve,” Adam Balen, chairman of the British Fertility Society, told The Times over the weekend.
“However, the exposure of the developing fetus to alcohol may cause irreversible development damage, so alcohol consumption should be less than six units [roughly two large glasses of wine] per week for women wishing to conceive,” he added.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website says there is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant.
This post was written by Katie Rosseinsky. For more, check out our sister site Grazia.