The researchers added:
“Histamine in wine has been associated with the triggering of a wide spectrum of adverse symptoms, including sneezing, rhinitis, itching, flushing, headache and asthma.
“The sulphite additives in wine have been associated with triggering asthmatic responses.
“Clinical studies have confirmed sensitivities to the sulphites in wine in limited numbers of individuals, but the extent to which the sulphites contribute to wine sensitivity overall is not clear.”
This finding follows a UK survey conducted by Asthma UK in which 64 percent of people with the condition said certain types of alcohol trigger their symptoms.
Actor, writer and presenter Stephen Fry finds champagne to be the worst offender for his asthma:
“I have to make sure that I avoid too much champagne because it triggers my asthma symptoms. Champagne can leave a lot of people feeling poorly the next day, but for me it is far more serious because it could trigger a potentially fatal asthma attack.”
Alcohol can prompt allergic reactions including rhinitis, itching, facial swelling, headache, coughing and asthma.
They found that many people are sensitive to a variety of drinks including wine, beer and spirits – a particularly problematic finding considering balmy afternoons often call for a tipple.
In the surveys of asthmatics, more than 40 percent reported the triggering of allergic or allergic-like symptoms following alcoholic drink consumption and 30 to 35 per cent reported worsening of their asthma.
They say that it’s the sensitivity to the ethanol in alcohol itself that can trigger adverse responses.
Positing potential causes, the main researchers said: “Wine is clearly the most commonly reported trigger for adverse responses. Sensitivities to wine appear to be due mainly to pharmacological intolerances to specific components, such as biogenic amines and the sulphite additives.”