In a groundbreaking discovery, scientists at the University of California have finally unraveled the centuries-old mystery surrounding why red wine can cause headaches. Researchers found that a naturally occurring compound called quercetin, found in red wine, may be responsible for inducing migraines and other symptoms associated with red wine headaches.
Quercetin is an antioxidant and a type of flavanol, a plant pigment that gives fruit and vegetables their color. When combined with red wine, it can disrupt a person’s ability to break down alcohol, leading to headaches, flushes, nausea, and other symptoms. Professor emeritus Andrew Waterhouse from the university’s viticulture and enology department explains how quercetin gets in your bloodstream and is converted into quercetin glucuronide, which blocks the metabolism of alcohol. This can prompt acetaldehyde, a toxin, to accumulate in the body. High levels of acetaldehyde can cause facial flushing