RSA Update on Wine

Are there benefits to Wine drinking?


There has long been raging a debate as to whether or not wine presents any benefit to the health of its drinkers. Certainly a good argument has been that In ancient times when wine was the alcohol of choice people lived longer and healthier lives. In countries where wine is produced and forms part of everyday life the life span seems to be longer, such as in Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Spain. So does drinking a glass a day really have health benefits?


Well according to numerous studies done wine has many health benefits, when enjoyed in moderation, a few glasses a week. Red wine in particular can be good for you although white wine also presents its benefits. According to research drinking red wine can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimers, due to the grapes that make up the wine.


Grapes contain in their skin miracle nutrients and are packed with Resveratol which actually protects the body’s cells. Saponin also contained in the grapes skin binds together with bad cholesterol and sifts it out of the body. The third magic component Flavonoids interfere and interrupt the multiplication of deadly cancer cells in the body.


Non-alcoholic phytochemicals in wine, such as flavanoids and resveratrol, act as antioxidants and prevent molecules known as “free radicals” from causing cellular damage in the body.  Although some studies which have focused on the health benefits of resveratrol use much greater dosages than you’ll find in an average glass of wine, resveratrol has been shown to prevent blood clotting and plaque formation in arteries by altering lipid profiles and plasma viscosity.  Findings from a recent study suggest that resveratrol can produce potent anti-thrombotic agents that can potentially improve cardiovascular health and lower the risk for coronary heart disease.  In animal studies, resveratrol reduced tumours forming by affecting one or more stages of cancer development.


The Documented Benefits of Wine Drinking


It reduces the risk of a heart attack. Evidence collected by The Harvard School for Public Health suggests that moderate wine drinkers suffering from high blood pressure are 30 per cent less likely to have a heart attack than non-wine drinkers.


Wine apparently promotes longevity.  Wine drinkers have a 34 per cent lower mortality rate than beer or spirits drinkers according to a Finnish study of 2,468 men over a 29-year period, published in the Journals of Gerontology, 2007.


Wine can also reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes in drinkers according to a study by Amsterdam’s VU University Medical Centre who conducted studies on 369862 people found that moderate drinkers were 30 per cent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes that non-drinkers.


Wine drinkers have a lower chance of a stroke because the possibility of suffering a blood clot–related stroke drops by about 50 per cent in people who consume moderate amounts of alcohol. This according to a study of 3176 people in 2006 by a Columbia University. The university also found that the problem of brain decline is another problem that aging causes. Brain function declines at a markedly faster rate in non-wine drinkers than in moderate drinkers.


A problem that often plagues aged people, cataracts can be reduced by 32 per cent compared to people who drink beer.


Wine consumption also cuts the risk of colon cancer by an astonishing 45 per cent, research by a Stony Brook University revealed in 2005.


Although the benefits of wine have been well documented and the fact that moderate amounts of alcohol can raise your good cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) and thin your blood there are also negative consequences of wine abuse. Red wine in particular is better for your health than spirits and beer.


Red wine provides much more resveratrol compared to white. That’s because the longer the skin is kept on the grape during the wine making process, the greater the concentration of resveratrol in the wine. In white wine production the grape skin is removed before fermentation giving white wines a lower concentration in resveratrol compared to red wines.


The Negative Side Effects of Wine


Higher Risk of contracting breast cancer. Studies have shown alcohol can increase oestrogen levels and raise tumour progression in women rather than destroy it as in other cases.


 Causes Migraines. Wine is often a big trigger for people who suffer with migraine headaches. Although white wine contains more sulfites than red wine (sulfites are added to white wine to preserve its light color), red wine seems to be a much bigger migraine trigger due to the accumulation of histamines and tannins from prolonged contact with the skin.