When it comes to red wine, the pigment involved is anthocyanin which might vary from product to product. Many artificial foods like dyed sodas, iron supplements, and even the greens that you eat can affect the color of your poop. Red wine can even make several changes (good changes) to the development of your cardiovascular and digestive health with just the right amount of wine. But if you over-indulge, you may be looking at consequences like liver and heart problems. Black stools resulting from your diet can easily be fixed by staying hydrated, but if it’s not food-related, you might want to pay a visit to your doctor.
No one likes to look at their stool, but if by chance or due to another reason, you catch a glance and it’s black, you might be worried. Even though poop is simply an excretory substance of our body, doctors can give many diagnoses by looking at your stool.
While what you eat and drink mostly affects the texture and color of your stool, the stool could also signify other complications in your body processes.
Statistics show that in 2018, 38.7% of individuals aged 18 to 29 years drank red wine regularly, so your curiosity about red wine’s effects on your poop is completely rational.
But how can red wine turn your poop black? Are there other food products that can affect the color of your stool? Can red wine have any other effects? Are these effects all good, or is there a certain risk to red wine? Can something else be causing your black poop? How can your treat your black stools if its culprit is red wine? What should you do if the cause is an underlying disease?
Table of Contents
Does red wine turn your poop black, and why?
The simplest answer would be yes! This is a very possible scenario, especially if you’ve had one too many to drink last night.
The effect of red wine on the stool has limited studies on it. However, dieticians have concluded that the cause of the blackish color is because of the high anthocyanin or tannin content in red wine.
The US National Library of Medicine has stated that these anthocyanin pigments have been proven to be answerable to various colors in fruits and vegetables and are being used as a traditional natural food colorant, which is probably why your poop changes color depending on different foods and drinks that you take.
Different food and their impact on coloring your stool
The below table should help you understand how and why different food and drinks affect your stool.
However, be mindful that regardless of the color, if your stool comes out bloody or if you have added symptoms like pain and vomiting, you will need to seek immediate medical attention.
|Food item||Color of Stool||Reason for color|
|Red coloring added soda, chips, candy||Reddish-brown||Artificially added coloring doesn’t digest.|
|Greens with excess chlorophyll like Spinach or Kale||Healthy-green||Green pigment in plants along with insoluble fiber.|
|Red beets||Pink/red or even purple||Pigment known as betacyanin causes this natural effect.|
|Not caused by food||White/clay-like||Lack of bile caused by a dangerous underlying issue. Seek medical aid.|
|Iron supplements/ black colored food||Black||Could be color additives but if accompanied by pain and vomiting, seek medical aid.|
While we don’t recommend taking daily peaks at your stool, the occasional look can help make sure you’re healthy.
Are there any other possible effects of red wine on your body?
Red wine is made by extracting the juice from dark-colored whole grapes and fermenting it. It can have either a good or even a bad effect on your body, depending on the quantity you have drunk.
Some of these effects are listed below.
- Healthy digestive system – This is mainly thanks to its anti-bacterial nature, which treats any stomach irritation or digestive disorder that you may be having. As stated by the US National Library of Medicine, polyphenols within the wine can even stop or obstruct the progression of inflammatory bowel disease within the colon and the small intestine.
- Blood sugar regulator – The compound of Resveratrol which is also found in the outer skin of the grape, is known to control blood sugar, cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure levels.
- Slims you down – This is also a physical effect that’ll be noticeable, just like the black poop. For this, the compound known as piceatannol is to be complemented because it acts on decreasing the fat cells in your body. A 2014 study on overweight individuals has proven the positive effect of red wine on the human body.
- Healthy heart – The US National Library of Medicine also confirms, along with various studies, that the compound of resveratrol in red wine caused significant decreases in heart diseases such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, and arteriosclerosis when regularly consuming small amounts of red wine.
Despite the above-mentioned benefits, you must always take precautions to only take moderate amounts of red wine if you’re a daily consumer since excess red wine can lead to drastic outcomes on your body.
Black stool won’t be your only concern if you drink too much too often. Large amounts of red wine could lead to seizures, vomiting, blackouts, and even difficulties in staying steady.
It can also cause liver, heart, and even pancreas problems. Prolonged use can even branch out to various cancers. So, you need to know your limit.
Other possible causes of black poop
Now that we’ve covered the connection between black poop and red wine, it’s time to find out other reasons why your stool might be blackish.
While black stools as a consequence of red wine are entirely harmless, if you feel this isn’t the case, it might be hinting at an underlying issue in your body.
Bowel ischemia, a restriction of blood flow to your intestines, can make your stools black and tarry. It could also mean that there are blood circulation abnormalities in your digestive system which need medical assistance.
In those instances, especially if your poop seems different from just mere color, it’s best to consult with your doctor.
Another possibility is ulcers or another term familiar to you might be ‘gastritis.’
While mild gastritis can be easily treatable, if it develops into an ulcer and causes bleeding, this blood may mix up with your digestive fluids and affect your stool as well.
If by any chance, your stools seem bloody, you need to seek medical attention immediately. Most often, bleeding in the upper segment of your digestive system is what can cause blackish stools.
Apart from these, if you’ve noted that your black poop has started occurring quite recently since you started some medication, that too could be the culprit.
Some medications, especially certain iron supplements and bismuth-based medications, can make your poop darker than usual, as ascertained by the Department of Pharmacy Services in California.
So if that’s the case, you needn’t be too worried.
How to treat and prevent black stool?
This would, of course, depend on the cause of your black stool.
Treating the condition based on the color of your stool might be effective, but if you’ve got an underlying disease, it’d complicate this whole issue.
If your black stool is an effect of red wine…
- Drink lots of water – Water will not only help your poop regain its normal color but will also help you pass your stool quite easily.
- Eat fibrous foods – Fiber helps to soften the color and texture of your stool. Foods that have fiber include many fruits like mangoes, raspberries, oranges, pears or you could even try veggies like beans and artichokes or even whole grains.
However, if you’re suffering from other diseases or if red wine is not the cause, the best way to treat your stool is by first treating your disease with the aid of a doctor.
If your stool isn’t an effect of red wine, then these may help:
- Sitz baths – This is a warm shallow bath to cleanse your perineum and is recommended if the cause is hemorrhoids, under a doctor’s supervision by the American Cancer Society.
- Antibiotics – If ulcers are the cause, your doctor might recommend you to use acid-reducing antibiotics and immunosuppressant drugs.
- Surgery – Surgical repairing may be needed if the cause of abnormalities within your digestive system is the last option.
You must be wondering by now, should you drink wine or not? Or how much should you drink?
The American Heart Society clearly states that while moderate consumption of red wine can have health benefits, excessive intake can be detrimental.
An exact moderate amount would be about 1 to 2 small glasses per day. You should also keep in mind that it’s always best to go at least 1 to 2 days per week without alcohol consumption just to be on the safe side and not overdo it.
Too much of anything good can be dangerous!