Scientists have found once again that wine may in fact be the answer to all of life’s problems. A new study found that French oak, a tree commonly used for barrel aging wine, contains a tannin that heals your liver.
You read that right: French barrel aged wine could be protecting your liver, even as you consume alcohol. The tannin, called roburin, is found in both species of French oak, Quercus robur and Quercus petraea, and it can improve liver function while decreasing fatigue and nausea.
“When we consume alcohol, the temporary overload may exceed the liver’s capacity to process and deplete, manifesting with typical ‘hangover’ effects of nausea and sluggishness while our body recuperates,” Fred Pescatore, a doctor and spokesman for a drug called Robuvit that isolates roburin, says in a press release. The isolated roburin “helps protect the liver from alcohol-related damage and gets our body back to work for more efficient removal of toxins that are affecting us.”
The study tested the effects of isolated roburin on 44 people, so not the most definitive data out there. It builds on previous studies however, and the compounded results point to a happy conclusion: Wine is good.
Roburin is most helpful when it comes to temporary hepatic damage, which is chemical-driven liver damage. Hepatic damage can happen from prescription drugs, too much acetaminophen (found in Tylenol), and alcohol. Early data from the most recent study and previous studies show that roburin decreases liver inflammation.
So go ahead and buy an extra bottle of wine to drink in moderation — just make sure it spent some time in French oak.