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Wine & Health: Health Benefits and Harms of Wine

Posted: Saturday, 23 April 2016 16:06


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Wine & Health: Health Benefits and Harms of Wine

April 23: There have been several studies and articles written about the health benefits of drinking wine in moderation and a few pointing out to the harm as well, but a detailed and ostensibly authoritative article in a medical website Medical News Today looks at the benefits by listing some of the studies carried out in the last few years, including the historical facts and comes to the same conclusion as delWine that regular but moderate consumption of preferably red wine is good for health

The Article in Medical News Today rightly starts by defining moderation. Many of the problems attributed to wine are actually due to alcohol which, beyond the moderate consumption is positively harmful when taken in any alcoholic beverage and wine is lumped with liquor in such studies.

How much wine you should drink in a day depends on several factors, including the size, age, sex, body stature and general state of health of an individual and whether it is being consumed with food or on an empty stomach. Women absorb alcohol more rapidly than men because of their lower body water content and different levels of stomach enzymes. Therefore, moderate wine consumption will be a lower amount for women than for men.

According to "Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, published by the US Department of Agriculture, "If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation - up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men".

The National Health Service, UK, writes "Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day. Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day." One unit equals 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. A 250ml (large) glass of 12% red wine has about 3 units of alcohol. A 175ml (medium) glass has about two units. Thus a standard 150 ml glass in India will have about 1.8 units and thus recommended limit of two glasses (as advised by delWine also) will have about 3.6 units.

In January this year however, Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer of England has rubbished studies on the health benefits of drinking red wine even in moderation with the new government guidance claiming that there is no safe level of drinking alcohol. In any case, the risks outweigh any potential gain, according to the first full Review of alcohol guidelines for UK since 1995. For details, visit:   Tuesday Fasts for Brits Recommended for Health

Benefits of Moderate Consumption

Reducing Risk of Depression

Preventing Colon Cancer

Anti Ageing Properties - Anti-aging properties of wine have been talked about for over a thousand years. Monasteries were convinced that their monks' longer life- spans compared to the rest of the population were partly due to their moderate, regular consumption of wine. A study carried out at the University of London found that procyanidins in red wine keep the blood vessels healthy and are one of the factors that contribute towards longer life spans enjoyed by the people in Sardinia and the southwest of France.

Preventing Breast Cancer- Regular consumption of most alcoholic drinks increases the risk of breast cancer. However, red wine intake has the opposite effect, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found.

In the Journal of Women's Health, the scientists explained that chemicals in the skins and seeds of red grapes reduce estrogen levels while raising testosterone in premenopausal women - which results in a lower risk of developing breast cancer. The authors emphasized that it is not just the red wine that has the beneficial compounds, but its raw material - red grape.

Preventing dementia- A team from Loyola University Medical Center found that moderate red wine intake can reduce the risk of developing dementia. In this study, the researchers gathered and analyzed data from academic papers on red wine since 1977. The studies, which spanned 19 nations, showed a statistically significantly lower risk of dementia among regular, moderate red wine drinkers in 14 countries.

Protecting from severe sunburn -Wine and grape derivatives can help reduce the damaging effects of UV (ultraviolet) light, scientists from the University of Barcelona in Spain reported in The Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry. The authors explained that when UV rays make contact with human skin, they activate reactive oxygen species (ROS), which oxidize fats, DNA and other large molecules, which in turn stimulate other enzymes that harm skin cells. Flavonoids, found in wine and grapes, inhibit the formation of the ROS in skin cells that are exposed to sunlight.

Preventing blinding diseases Red wine can stop the out-of-control blood vessel growth in the eye that causes blindness, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reported in the American Journal of Pathology.

Diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness among people  aged 50+ years, are caused by an overgrowth of blood vessels (angiogenesis) in the eye. The researchers explained that resveratrol is the compound in wine that protects vision. Grapes, blueberries, peanuts and some other plants are rich in resveratrol.

Damage after stroke

Red wine may protect the brain from stroke damage, researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine wrote in the journal Experimental Neurology.

Improving lung function and preventing lung cancer

Dutch scientists reported on a study that looked at the effects of resveratrol, red wine, and white wine on lung function. They found that Pure resveratrol was good for lung function
White wine was also good for lung function

Red wine made no difference

A reviewer of the study wrote "Resveratrol may well be just the bystander of something else present in wine. The beneficial effects on lung function are probably related to many compounds present in wine, and not just resveratrol."

According to a number of scientific studies, moderate wine drinkers appear to enjoy better lung function, the authors added. In another study, a team from Kaiser Permanente wrote in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention that red wine consumption may reduce lung cancer risk

Raising levels of omega-3 fatty acids

Wine is better than other alcoholic drinks in raising levels of omega-3 fatty acids in plasma and red blood cells, according to the IMMIDIET study involving European researchers from various countries.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined 1,604 adults from London in England, Abruzzo in Italy, and Limburg in Belgium. They all underwent a comprehensive medical examination with a primary care physician (general practitioner) and also completed an annual food frequency questionnaire which included details of their dietary and drinking habits.

They found that regular, moderate wine drinkers had higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are usually derived from eating fish. We know that omega-3 fatty acids protect against coronary heart disease.

The scientists found that drinking wine acts like a trigger, boosting levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the body.

Preventing liver disease

A study carried out at the UC San Diego School of Medicine concluded that modest wine consumption reduced the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by half compared to people who never drank wine. Their finding challenged conventional thinking regarding alcohol consumption and liver health.

The researchers reported in the journal Hepatology that regular, modest beer or liquor drinkers had more than four times the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease compared to the wine drinkers.

Prootecting  from prostate Cancer

A study published in the June 2007 issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch reported that male moderate red wine drinkers were 52% as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer as men who never drank red wine.

They defined moderate drinking as an average of four to seven glasses of red wine per week.

Initially, the Seattle researchers looked at general alcohol consumption and found no link to prostate cancer risk. However, when they went one step further and looked at different alcoholic beverages, they identified a clear association between red wine drinking and lower prostate cancer risk.

Even extremely moderate red wine consumption (one glass per week) reduced men's risk of prostate cancer by 6%, the authors informed.

Preventing type 2 diabetes

In an animal experiment, scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered that a chemical found in red wine and the skin of red grapes - resveratrol - improved sensitivity to insulin. Insulin resistance is the most important critical factor contributing to type 2 diabetes risk.

The researchers reported in the journal Cell Metabolism that resveratrol also increased levels of the enzyme SIRT1, which was found to improve insulin sensitivity in mice.

Study leader, Qiwei Zhai said that red wine may have some benefits for insulin sensitivity, but this Although you are advised to consult your doctor before you start using wine as a medicine, delWine has always maintained that non drinkers ought not to be encouraged to start drinking wine and it should be consumed as a lifestyle product with food with the health benefits as mere bonus. The studies have not been conclusive. Generally, every Study puts a rider that more are required to establish the benefit co-efficient of wine.

For details, visit:   Medical News Today

Subhash Arora

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Jaydeep Kudale Says:


Dear Sir, The article on wine and health were very informative. the personnel working in wine industry must try the above recommendation for better experience and confidence. from 2010 I have made and tried all home made fruit wine with ayuredic combination such as jambul wine with cru cumin. regards, Jaydeep Kudale.

Posted @ April 29, 2016 10:37


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