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Red Wine may Reduce Harm caused by Smoking

Posted: Friday, 18 November 2016 11:09


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Red Wine may Reduce Harm caused by Smoking

Nov 18: A new scientific study shows that drinking a glass of red wine before lighting up a cigarette might prevent some of the harm caused by smoking due to the anti-oxidants that protect against short-term damage to the lining of blood vessel but nevertheless expounding that the results hold good for occasional smokers only and are not necessarily valid for long time or heavy smokers

Smoking is injurious to health
Smoking causes lung cancer
Tobacco causes mouth cancer
Smoking kills
Smoking seriously harms you and others around you

One of these Textual warnings supplemented with the mandatory repulsive pictorial images on every cigarette pack sold in India and many other countries, would keep a non-smoker from ever lighting a cigarette but despite doctors’ advice most smokers might not find it easy or even possible to follow the advice.

According to the latest study published by The American Journal of Medicine on November 15, the next best thing to quitting is having a glass of red wine before lighting a cigarette. This might be a powerful tool to protect the arteries from tobacco which inflames arteries and ages the cells. This study comes with the rider that the protection of blood vessels is only against the short term damages and may not be considered as a counter-balance against the ill effects of smoking.

The Study looked at the effects of smoking on various biochemical processes in the blood stream of 20 healthy non-smokers who volunteered for the study that was based on their smoking three cigarettes. Half of the subjects drank red wine one hour before smoking, until they reached a blood alcohol level of 0.75 percent. Blood and urine samples were collected before and after 18 hours of smoking. Subjects who consumed red wine before smoking experienced no cellular changes.

Smoking causes micro particles to be released into the bloodstream. They indicate that cells in the blood vessels are being damaged. Red wine, with its high levels of phenol which is a natural compound, stimulates the formation of nitric oxide, which rejuvenates coronary arteries, reason the scientists in the Study.

However, the lead scientist Dr Viktoria Schwarz of the University of Saarland in Homburg, near Saarbrucken, Germany says, “since the study focused on young, healthy non-smokers it is not clear whether the findings would apply to the elderly, sick, or habitual smokers.’ She also stressed that her team did not want to motivate occasional smokers to drink or occasional drinkers to smoke.

The Study has been very limited in that it has used only red wine as the protagonist-perhaps due to the established positive effects due to the presence of resveratrol found less in white wine. It has also been done on non-smokers. The researchers do not know how it would affect the heavy smokers. It does not indicate whether the subjects were males or females and whether the effect was similar. As is customary, the researchers concede that more studies need to be undertaken in this area. Dr. Schwarz says, “Nevertheless, this study identified mechanisms suitable to explore damage and protection on the vasculature in humans, paving the way for future clinical studies.”

Subhash Arora

In the meanwhile, our readers are recommended to follow their doctor’s advice and do their best to quit the harmful habit. In case they are too far gone to kick it, a glass or two before that cigarette (though it is difficult to imagine how that glass may be imbibed throughout the day) would certainly not be harmful and might do some good temporarily. Regular use up to a couple of glasses would certainly be helpful for the arteries-for smokers as well as non-smokers-editor

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Tags: anti-oxidants, The American Journal of Medicine, Red wine, phenol, Dr. Viktoria Schwarz, University of Saarland, resveratrol


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