A new study has shown that the consumption of red wine and red meat is linked with increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
The researchers analysed data from more than 100,000 women in Sweden from the years 1890 to 2009, and compared them with their records of their health in a hospital.
Researchers found that women who consumed red wine more often, more frequently consumed red meat and more often drank alcohol, were also more likely to be having a miscarriage, stillbirth and low birth weight.
“It’s very interesting, that the risk of a miscarriage is actually increased by the consumption,” Dr Anna Lundqvist, from Lund University in Sweden, said.
“And then we also see that a lot of women in the study were also at high risk of having low birth weights, and so it’s not only about red wine, but also a lot more than that.”
Dr Lundqvists team also looked at the relationships between red wine consumption and birth weight, weight gain and risk of early pregnancy loss.
They found that the higher the amount of red meat consumed, the greater the risk, while those who ate less red meat were also likely to have a low birthweight.
“That makes sense, as if you are consuming more red meat, you are also consuming more calories than your body needs to make up for the calories it’s losing,” Dr Lundqvis said.
While the study was not able to directly link red wine with miscarriage, it did find that the increased risk was significantly higher among women who were consuming red wine a lot, a lot.
“We found a significant increased risk, and this was the first study that found this,” Dr Lindqvist said.
Dr Lundquist said that it was possible red wine may have an effect on miscarriage, as well as a number of other diseases.
“For example, if you’re pregnant and you’ve got a heavy baby, that’s probably the best place for red wine to play,” she said.
But she said that the research was a bit of a “gut check” to get a sense of how much red wine was really impacting on a woman’s health.
“When we looked at this in Sweden and looked at how many women had miscarriages and how many stillbirths in Sweden over the years, it was probably a very large number of miscarriages,” she told ABC Radio.
“I think it’s possible that there’s some connection between red and wine consumption, but I’m not sure it’s necessarily related to miscarriage.”
Dr Lindqvists study was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.