Sulfites, Wine and Urinary Infections


Sulfites are used in the wine-making process for preservation and to extend shelf life. Sulfite sensitivity exists only in about 5 percent of asthmatics. Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are caused by bacteria.

Urinary Infections

  • UTIs can appear in both men and women. Antibiotics are used to treat the bacterial infections.


  • Alcohol, including wine, can aggravate the infection. Anyone using antibiotics should not drink alcohol. UTIs are not affected by sulfites in wine or other foods.


  • The wine-making process employs yeast to ferment the fruit, which creates sulfites. The amount of sulfites added to the wine cannot be more than 350 mg/liter in the U.S.

Sulfite-Free Wine

  • There are no wines that are sulfite-free. Organic wines contain only trace amounts of sulfites, if any. Wines that contain less than 10 parts per million are not required to add "sulfites added" to the label.


  • Only a small portion of the population has sensitivity to sulfites. The sensitive reaction includes symptoms like headaches and heartburn.

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  • Photo Credit Image by, courtesy of Kang L
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