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Reported June 20, 2006

Why Wine Makes You Sleepy

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A nice glass of red wine with dinner is often just what the doctor ordered when it comes to getting a good night's sleep.

Now, Italian researchers believe they know why. It isn't just the alcohol that's inducing slumber. Grapes used to make many of the most popular red wines also contain melatonin, a hormone secreted by the human brain to tell the body when it's time to hit the sack.

Using standard tests, the investigators discovered melatonin in the Nebbolo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovesse, Croatina, Marzemino, Cabernet Franc, and Barbera varieties of grapes. They also found they could boost levels of the sleep-inducing hormone in these grapes by treating them with benzothiadiazole, a plant vaccine.

Study author Iriti Marcello, from the University of Milan, concludes, "The melatonin content in wine could help regulate the circadian rhythm (sleep-wake patterns), just like the melatonin produced by the pineal gland in mammals."

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: /newsalert/.

SOURCE: Journal of Science and Agriculture, published online June 18, 2006

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