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Delhi Wine Club
International Scientific Forum validates delWine Report

Posted: Wednesday, 28 September 2011 17:59

International Scientific Forum validates delWine Report

Sep 28 : The ‘ Aussie Red Alert Against Red Wine’ reported by delWine last week with its views has been validated by the globally respected group of doctors and scientists, International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research which has termed the Statement issued by the Alcohol Policy Coalition as misguided and disturbing to the 40 medics and scientists of the Forum as it was based primarily on extremely limited sources of information.

Aussie Alcohol Policy Coalition had challenged the red wine 'myth' and claimed that recent international research shows that light drinkers are at less risk of heart disease than abstainers, citing various findings that the harms from alcohol are likely to outweigh any benefits and every drinking occasion contributes to the lifetime risk of harm.

The world media had gone overboard in reporting about the  statement which seemed primarily motivated to influence the government of Australia ahead of the Alcohol Tax Policy to be announced this week. DelWine had suggested that headings of some of the media reports would make a smoker rush out for a pack of cigarettes to ‘sooth his nerves’ while a non smoker may wonder about the hundreds of studies- NOT news reports, conducted on wine and alcohol drinkers for the last couple of decades which evidenced that drinking in moderation is good for practically every part of your body, especially heart except perhaps colon and breast cancer where there may be a minor increase of risk even if the intake is moderate. Countries like Italy, France and Spain where wine has been an integral part of food culture would probably trash the report as motivated by some agenda.

The complete article is at

Rebuttal by international professional body

Statement and a rebuttal of their averments by the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research released today reads:

A group known as the Alcohol Policy Coalition in Australia has released a document entitled 'Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease and Alcohol Consumption'.  Forum members agree that excessive alcohol use has many adverse effects on the individual and on society, and efforts to reduce alcohol related harm are paramount. 

The 40 medics and scientist who are members of the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research (ISFAR) were disturbed that the coalition statement was limited almost exclusively to the effects of abusive drinking, was based primarily on extremely limited sources of information (mainly position statements by other organizations, and not publications based on sound medical research), and indicated a strong bias against all alcohol use. 

Forum members contend that the Australian report misrepresents the extensive scientific data available on alcohol and health.  The report specifically ignores scientific data indicating that in all developed countries, moderate consumers of alcohol are at much lower risk of essentially all of the diseases of ageing: coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, diabetes, and dementia. 

And conspicuously absent from the Australian report is a description of the lower total mortality among middle-aged and elderly people associated with moderate alcohol consumption, a finding that has been found consistently throughout the world since the first research papers by St Leger and Klatsky et al published in the 1970’s indicated a protective effect from regular low doses of alcohol.  Further, there is no mention in the report of the key relevance of the pattern of drinking, although regular moderate drinking (versus binge drinking only on week-ends, even when the total volume of alcohol is the same) has been shown to be a strong determinant of beneficial effects of alcohol consumption.

Scientific data over many decades have shown that while excessive or irresponsible alcohol use has severe adverse health and societal effects, regular moderate drinking is associated with beneficial effects on health.  And a very large number of experimental studies, including results from human trials, have described biological mechanisms for the protective effects of both alcohol and the polyphenolic components of some alcoholic beverages. 

There have been a number of comprehensive meta-analyses published that Forum members believe can provide much more accurate, up to date, and scientifically balanced views of the current status of the health effects of alcohol consumption.  Such documents are better sources of data upon which policy decisions should be based.  A full list of references on which this statement has been based can be obtained by emailing

To read the full critique, visit:

The group is a world body of well known doctors and scientists some of whom mentioned below  provided comments for this critique:

Erik Skovenborg, MD, Scandinavian Medical Alcohol Board, Practitioner, Aarhus, Denmark

Arne Svilaas, MD, PhD, general practice and lipidology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway

Gordon Troup, MSc, DSc, School of Physics, Monash University, Victoria, Australia

Francesco Orlandi, MD, Dept. of Gastroenterology, Università degli Studi di Ancona. Italy

Harvey Finkel, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA

Andrew L. Waterhouse, PhD, Marvin Sands Professor, Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, Davis, CA, USA

Tedd Goldfinger, DO, FACC, Desert Cardiology of Tucson Heart Center, Dept. of Cardiology, University of Arizona School of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona, USA

R. Curtis Ellison, MD, Section of Preventive Medicine & Epidemiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA

Ulrich Keil, MD, PhD, Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine,  University of Münster, Münster, Germany

David Vauzour, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Department of Nutrition, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
 Our recommendation to viewers, which we continue to do so, was:

Since most doctors eulogising the health benefits of wine recommend no more than two glasses of red wine a day (a stand taken by delWine for several years), one may take the news reports with a pinch of salt or a couple of green olives and stick to our recommendations of not more than two glasses of red wine for men and one glass for women-editor.

Subhash Arora


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