American scientists at the University of Davis in California have identified the trigger for the so-called "red wine headaches" that some people experience after drinking. According to the study, the flavonol quercetin, which occurs naturally in vegetables and fruit, turns into quercetin glucuronide in the bloodstream, which in turn blocks the metabolism of alcohol. As a result, some people accumulate the toxin acetaldehyde in their blood. This acts as an irritant and can trigger inflammatory processes, which can lead to facial flushing, headaches and nausea. Red grapes produce quercetin, which is generally beneficial to health, as a reaction to sunlight. Normally, acetaldehyde should be broken down by an enzyme. According to the authors of the study, this does not work very well in around 40 per cent of the population of East Asia. People who suffer from migraines or another headache disorder would also get headaches even after taking small amounts of quercetin.
(al / Source: drinksbusiness)