Red wine pairs well with everything from steak to leftover pizza, and it may even be the secret weapon for couples trying to conceive. Pour yourself a glass (or get some delivered, if you’re out) because new science on the beloved beverage shows that red wine may help you make a baby.
A recent study presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Annual Congress found that women who consume more than five servings of red wine a month have a higher ovarian reserve (more eggs, basically), but there was no link between white wine or beer and fertility.
According to the study’s authors, resveratrol—a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory compound—is found in high concentrations in red wine, and may be why the drink seems to be positively associated with ovarian reserve.
The study’s author’s stress that women who are trying to conceive should limit their red wine drinking to less than six units per week ( a 4oz glass of wine is about 1.4 units).
The study is controversial because alcohol and pregnancy definitely don’t mix, and drinking while pregnant can cause irreversible developmental damage to the fetus, so it’s best to play it safe. According to the study, just one glass of red a week may have enough resveratrol to boost a woman’s fertility.
Critics of the study point out that the amount of women participating was pretty small (just 135) and the findings weren’t adjusted for factors like ethnicity and diet.
It’s not perfect, but this study follows several others that suggest red wine does have health benefits, especially for those trying to get pregnant. One such study found that women who drink wine got pregnant faster than women who preferred other beverages, and another study on the effect of red wine on those suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome showed promising results again linked to resveratrol.
The science is stacking up and red wine is clearly working some kind of magic on our ovaries, but of course, the CDC recommends women who are trying to get pregnant don’t drink any alcohol at all.
Some who are trying to conceive are comfortable having a glass of red, but for those who like to abide by every letter of the CDC’s recommendations, resveratrol can also be found in grapes.