Sulfites, Wine and Urinary Infections

(Image: Image by, courtesy of Kang L)

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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