The effect of red and white wines on nonheme-iron absorption in humans.Am J Clin Nutr. 1995 Apr; 61(4):800-4.AJ
The effect of the phenolic compounds in wine was examined in this study by performing radioiron-absorption measurements from extrinsically labeled test meals in 33 human subjects. In four separate studies we observed that absorption was 2- to 3-fold higher from white wine containing a low concentration of polyphenols than from two red wines containing a 10-fold higher concentration of polyphenols. The interaction between the polyphenols and alcohol in wine was evaluated by reducing the alcohol content of the wines by approximately 90%. When the alcohol concentration was reduced, there was a significant 28% decrease in nonheme-iron absorption with red wine but no effect with white wine. The inhibitory effect of red wines with reduced alcohol content was about twofold greater when they were consumed with a small bread roll than when taken without food. Our findings indicate that the inhibitory effect of phenolic compounds in red wine is unlikely to affect iron balance significantly.