In a groundbreaking discovery, scientists at the University of California have finally unraveled the “millennia-old mystery” behind why red wine can cause near-immediate headaches. According to research by Professor emeritus Andrew Waterhouse and Dr Apramita Devi from the viticulture and enology department, a naturally occurring compound called quercetin may be responsible for these headaches.
Quercetin is an antioxidant and a type of flavanol, which gives fruit and vegetables their color. When combined with red wine, it can disrupt a person’s ability to break down alcohol, leading to migraines, flushes, nausea, and headaches. When it gets in your bloodstream, your body converts quercetin to a different form called quercetin glucuronide, which blocks the metabolism of alcohol. This can also prompt acetaldehyde, a toxin, to accumulate in the body. High levels of acetaldehyde are known to cause facial flushing, headache