Study: Many Wines Full of Dangerous Metals

Many European wines are full of metal, a study finds.

And researchers say if you’re the type of person who drinks a glass of wine – either red or white – every day, you may be damaging your health, according to the study, published online this week in the Chemistry Central Journal.

Biomolecular scientist Dr. Declan P. Naughton, from Kingston University in London, used a risk assessment called the target hazard quotient on wines from 16 different countries to determine which ones are the safest.

The THQ formula was developed by the United States' Environmental Protection Agency for the estimation of potential health risks associated with long-term exposure to environmental pollutants.

A THQ of more than 1 is considered a health risk — and most of the wines were far above a 1. Only wines from Argentina, Brazil and Italy did not contain dangerous levels of metal, the study found.

Typically, THQ values for most wines ranged from 50 to 200, but Hungarian and Slovakian wines reached levels of 300.

This study contradicts the popular theory that drinking wine daily is actually good for you by promoting heart health, the researchers said.

“Excess intake of metal ions is credited with pathological events such as Parkinson's disease,” Naughton said. “In addition to neurological problems, these ions are also believed to enhance oxidative damage, a key component of chronic inflammatory disease which is a suggested initiator of cancer."

Naughton and his co-author, Andrea Petroczi, also from Kingston University, said levels of metal ions should appear on wine labels and steps to remove them during wine production should be implemented.

Click here to read the study.