The Perks of Wine


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Word on the street is wine has many health benefits. I looked into this to see the truth behind it because it just seems too good to be true! Here are some of the facts:

1.  Wine promotes longevity. A study published in 2007 in The Journal of Gerontology was conducted to research the effect of different drinking preferences (wine, beer, spirits) on cardiovascular risks. The results showed that "Men with wine preference had the lowest total mortality due to lower cardiovascular mortality. ...Wine drinkers had a 34% lower total mortality." 2468 businessmen were used to conduct this study.

Although this is a very large sample size, it targets a somewhat small segment of humans. This is a bit of a flaw because the effect on women and people in different careers could vary.

2. In 1992, Harvard University proved that drinking red wine is one of the best ways to lower the risk of developing coronary heart disease, or protecting your heart in general. The study was performed over 16 years and the evidence shows that it is the antioxidants in your skin and the seeds of the grapes that are used to make the wine. The antioxidants called, flavonoids, reduce the risk by reducing the "bad" cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) in your body, increasing the "good" cholesterol (high density lipoprotein) and reducing blood clotting (A Glass of Red Wine a Day Keeps the Doctor Away).

Since these effects are directly related to the antioxidants that I found in the grapes made to make the wine, this made me question if non-alcoholic grape beverages would have the same effect. It makes the study and results a little bit deceiving because it is not directly the wine that is beneficial. It's encouraging people to drink wine when in reality they can drink grape juice and have the same benefits. This is still somewhat up to debate because the studies that have been done in 1997 and 1998 are debatable.

3. Anti-cancer agents have been found in red wine. "Acutissimin A was discovered 16 years ago in the bark of the sawtooth oak. It blocks the action of an important enzyme, and in so doing might prevent the growth of cancerous cells." The chemical compound acutissimin A is found in red wine as well! This is most likely related to the fact that red wine ages in oak barrels. Acutissimin A "has previously shown promise as an anti-cancer drug" (Nature).

This effect certainly makes a lot of sense and is, so far, great proof of the benefits of red wine. It'd be interesting to look at how the amount of time the wine ages in the oak barrels affects the acutissimin A, or similar chemical compound, that is found in the actual wine. At the end of the article it states that researches have attempted to make the chemical compound and found that, "the precise mixture of these compounds in red wine changes as it ages. This not only affects its taste, but also alters the potential pharmacopeia that it harbours." This could conclude that different wines have very different effects depending on the precise mixture it contains.

There's no doubt that the benefits of red wine are real. A huge factor that the studies do stress and that many people overlook is the amount of wine that is consumed. To benefit from wine, it must be drunk in moderation. According to the American Heart Association this is considered to be 1-2 four-ounce glasses a day (Wine Benefits). This is important to remember when studying the benefits of wine and making conclusions.

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3 Comments

This is good news! I bought 15 bottles of wine online yesterday, so I'm looking forward to being extremely healthy...In addition to what you found, WebMD has some tips on how to drink wine healthily. http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/wine-how-much-is-good-for-you

I've always heard that wine can be healthy to drink but never knew why or any of the facts. This blog post helped clarify many things for me.I think the most important thing that people need to take away from this is how much wine is healthy to drink. Since we are all college students, binge drinking is popular so its important to know that you should only drink 1-2 glasses. All in all this is a very interesting post that should clear up many students ideas on wine drinking.

My father brews wine as a hobby, and it's always been common in my culture to have a glass of wine at the dinner table, regardless of the age. Red wine is known for its positive benefits, but here's one that may be surprising. When it comes to consuming alcohol and calories, weight loss cannot be achieved with binge drinking. In fact, you're destroying your metabolism if you go out only on the weekends, but down that wine til you're seeing stars. It's much more beneficial to your body to drink more frequently. This does not include binge drinking. Having a glass or two of wine per day can actually help your body learn to metabolize it more efficiently so that alcohol does not cause any weight gain! Read about it more on this website: https://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=alcohol_and_weight_loss_have_we_really_had_it_wrong_all_along

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