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Wine is good for You and your Teeth

Posted: Tuesday, 03 June 2014 14:32

Wine and health: Wine is good for You and your Teeth

June 3: Several studies have shown positive benefits of wine on heart and health but over the years the credit was increasingly being given to one compound, resveratrol, which when studied in isolation has given discouraging results in recent studies. Wine does have health benefits for many other reasons, re-affirms Dr. Curt Ellison, founder director of the Institute on Lifestyle and Health at Boston University School of Medicine, in a recent interview, even as another Study claims it is good for your teeth as well.

The term French Paradox was coined in 1991 when the TV program “60 Minutes” had Dr. Curt Ellison and the late Dr. Serge Renaud, a French scientist report, based on a Study on the people in South of France living on Mediterranean diet that included wine, that the French lived longer than Americans despite a higher-fat diet, more smoking and less exercise because of moderate drinking of wine regularly.

Even before the study was conducted, it was always known to be beneficial enough for Thomas Jefferson, who went on to become the US President, to declare that a tariff on wine was “a tax on the health of our citizens.” Much before him, the father of Western medicine, Hippocrates had said that wine was “an appropriate article for mankind, both for the healthy body and for the ailing man.”

But since that “60 Minutes” report, which prompted a 39 percent increase in U.S. sales of red wine the next year, hundreds of researchers have conducted scores of tests on the possible benefits of wine. Many have tagged a compound called resveratrol as the “magic bullet” producing positive effects. A new research suggests that it might not be as beneficial as claimed.

“The key ingredient in alcoholic beverages that affects most health outcomes is probably alcohol itself,” said R. Curtis Ellison, who has spent decades studying the effects of wine consumption. “Wine contains up to 500 different polyphenolic compounds, many of which have been shown to improve health,” said Ellison. “These substances strongly affect the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia.”

Leo Sioris, a University of Minnesota pharmacy professor who has also spent decades studying wine, agrees. Resveratrol has little, if anything, to do with red wine’s benefit, he said. “It’s the whole package of red wine, not the least of the polyphenols.”

Among alcoholic beverages, red wine contains the most such compounds and thus the strongest positive effect on health, followed in order by white wine, beer and spirits. Yet red wine affects people differently, depending on their age, health and presence of specific diseases. As with all drugs, the dose makes the benefit, and the dose makes the poison- and moderation is the key, he emphasizes.

Wine’s potential benefits can differ depending on a person’s age and relative state of health. Presented with different scenarios, two medical experts provided the lowdown on how wine affects various demographics of people and especially those with specific diseases.

The detailed interview with the two experts covers the benefits for the middle-aged, young, seniors, pregnant women and smokers. They have also addressed the issues concerning cancer, diabetes, dementia and depression as well.  

For those who like beer or spirits but not wine, Prof. Sioris has this advice, ‘any alcoholic beverage in moderate doses is going to afford some level of protection for CVD, stroke, diabetes and even dementia and others. But the carbohydrate calorie consumption among beer drinkers can lead to increased fat storage. The concentration of alcohol in most spirit drinks can contribute to gastrointestinal cancers.’ In addition, he says “the diets of beer and spirit drinkers generally are not as healthy as that of wine drinkers.” That can create confounding variable in that it may not show the degree of positive benefit seen in wine drinkers.”

Wine good for Teeth

Although there has not been a uniform consensus so far on the benefits of wine for teeth or the harm caused to the gums and the plaque (except that red wine can temporarily turn the teeth into an ugly, dark colour), a new study shows that red wine as well as grape seed extract, could potentially help prevent cavities. This discovery could lead to the development of natural products that ward off dental diseases with fewer side-effects.

M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas, an authority on wine chemistry from Spain, who was the lead author of the study published recently in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry says,
"Red wine with or without alcohol and wine with grape seed extract were the most effective at getting rid of the bacteria that develops cavities and subsequent tooth loss that affects an estimated 60 to 90 percent of the global population."

Brushing, fluoride in toothpaste and water and other methods can help get rid of bacterial plaques, but the effects are limited. In addition, currently used antimicrobial rinses can change the color of the gums and alter taste, so people are less likely to use them for as long as they should.

Previous research had suggested that polyphenols, grape seed extract and wine can slow bacterial growth. Moreno-Arribas' team tested them under realistic conditions for the first time.

A few of the earlier related articles may be viewed on:
Indian Cardiologist Validates Wine Benefits
Blog: Drink Fine Wine-in Moderation
Excess Alcohol May Increase Breast Cancer Risk
Renaud: Farewell to Father of French Paradox
Wine-An Affair Of The Heart
IT PLUS, March 2003 Issue Taking it to heart Printed with permission from the publishers of IT PLUS

Subhash Arora

I had met Dr. Curt Ellison and Prof. Renaud for the first time at the Heart and Health Convention in Napa Valley over a decade ago and again since then. His stand is consistent with what it was when I had met him. No studies have explicitly proven him wrong though they have tried to cover different aspects with a strong focus on resveratrol that made the pharmaceutical industry thrive on the sale of resveratrol tablets for anti-aging. We continue to recommend one glass daily for women and 2 glasses for men-preferably red wine and preferably with food-the same as we did over 10 years ago-editor

Tags: resveratrol, Dr. Curt Ellison, Institute on Lifestyle and Health, Leo Sioris, M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas 



Rishi Vohra CSW Says:

Very interesting article! Though there are new results cropping up about the effects of wine on health, all are consistent in one aspect - the positive effects of wine on health are far far more than any other beverage with alcohol in it!

Posted @ September 10, 2014 17:15


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