You’ve heard of lactose intolerance – the inability to tolerate dairy products. But how about an intolerance to wine?
In what is believed to be the first study of its kind, German scientists have found about 7 percent of adults suffer from wine intolerance and may have allergy-like reactions to the alcoholic drink.
Researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz based their findings on surveys completed by nearly 1,000 randomly selected people between the ages of 20 and 69 years. They found that women (8.9 percent) were more often affected by an intolerance to wine than men (5.2 percent).
The most commonly reported reactions included flushed and itchy skin and a runny nose. Reactions were more common after drinking red wine and in people with other food intolerances.
Lead researcher Peter Wigand said the findings, reported in the German medical journal Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, indicate such reactions to wine are not necessarily a true allergy, but rather an intolerance to alcohol, biogenic amines, sulfites, or other ingredients in wine.
"The alcoholic drinks in general, and in particular red wine, seem to be important triggers for intolerance," the researchers wrote. "In this study, 19 of the 68 people with wine intolerance also reported a general intolerance to alcohol. This could therefore indicate that a more generalized intolerance to alcohol is one of the causes for the observed wine."