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One Major Side Effect of Drinking Too Much Wine, Says Science

Looking beyond the hangover.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

Humans have been kicking their legs up and pouring a glass of wine (or, perhaps more accurately, a goblet) as far back in history as we know of. Modern wine-lovers have no shortage of ways to consume. From a myriad of different types and flavors to a growing list of inventive sipping accessories. In the United States alone, the wine industry contributes $220 billion to our economy annually—a statistic that came to light pre-pandemic and, therefore, could definitely skew low comparatively.

But as summer rolls out promises or chilled reds and sparkling whites nationwide, the renewed opportunity to go clink glasses inside begs the question: what happens when a person drinks too much wine at once?

Yes, there's the obvious drunkenness-hangover combo, but beyond that tried and true result, what should vino-lovers be aware of?

According to Amber O'Brien, RD at Mango Clinic, one lesser-known side effect of drinking too much wine is pancreatitis. O'Brien says pancreatitis occurs when digestive enzymes start digesting the pancreas itself, causing it to become inflamed.

"Excessive intake of wine is associated with both types of pancreatitis including acute and chronic," says O'Brien. "If a person already has chronic pancreatitis, drinking too much wine can worsen the symptoms and lead to chronic pancreatitis."

She references a study that outlines how drinking too much alcohol contributes to 17% to 25% of the world cases of acute pancreatitis.

In an interesting turn of events, although we know a good bit about the age-old beverage, experts are still unsure of the exact reason wine is so highly correlated with pancreatitis. What they're more sure of, though, is how to avoid it.

"To prevent the side effects of wine, women are advised to stick to one glass of wine (150 ml) and men should stick to 2 glasses of wine at once," said O'Brien, before adding that "Consuming wine in moderation is good for the health but drinking too much is potentially unsafe that can result in deadly side effects."

As O'Brien mentions, drinking wine in moderation can be beneficial for your health. Here are the Amazing Effects of Drinking Wine You Never Knew, According to Science.

Kaley Roberts
Kaley Roberts is a food writer. Read more about Kaley