Wine Health

Standard

Author Kara Mae Adamo. While Ponce de Leon never did find his coveted Agua de Vive, the echoes of his fervent battle against mortality still affect our daily lives. From using anti-aging creams to undergoing more extreme methods like invasive plastic surgery, society is laden with tireless efforts to prolong our youth.
So how do we do it? How do we live longer, healthier, happier lives?

It appears that the answer to this unremitting question is simpler than we think. Studies show that people who enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner live an average of up to 34% longer than people who predominantly drink other alcoholic beverages and even longer than those who abstain from alcohol  altogether.[1] This is partially because resveratol, an antioxidant found in wines—especially in reds—extends the life span of cells by up to 80%[2].

Resveratol also inhibits tumor development and boosts your immune system.[3] Indeed, wine was used for medicinal purposes in 450 BCE when Hippocrates recommended certain wines for the purging of fevers. It was also used to disinfect and dress wounds and as a diuretic. In fact, around the 18th century, wine was considered safer to drink than most of the available water.

Wine calms your nerves, relieves tension and lowers your blood pressure. In fact, moderate wine drinkers that do have high blood pressure are still 30% less likely to have a heart attack than people who do not drink wine.[4] This is partially because the tannins in wine contain procyanidins and flavonoids, which protect the heart against heart disease.[5] Wine is also anti-coagulant and dilates the small blood vessels, preventing angina and clotting.[6]

The flavonoids found in wines also prevent cellular damage and reduce the production of LDL Cholesterol (the “bad” kind) while boosting the HDL Cholesterol (the “good” kind).[7]Flavonoids also favorably influence your lipid profiles following meals and prevent arteries from hardening.[8]

People who drink wine in moderate amounts every day also have 30% less risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes.[9] They also reduce their chances of liver disease by nearly half.[10] It reduces your possibility of stroke and even lowers your chance of developing cataracts by 32%.[11]

Going back to the fountain-of-youth motif, wine also appears to preserve cognitive function in older people. Regular-to-moderate wine consumption may help prevent many forms of dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.[12]

Do different wines have different medicinal properties?
In a sense, yes. Darker reds, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noirs have the highest flavonoid concentrations, while white wines are better for improving lung function,[13]reducing ulcers, decreasing ovarian cancer, and even strengthening your bones by up to 20%.[14]

So how much wine should I drink?
Like anything else, it’s about moderation. Women should drink about 4-ounces (about 1 glass) of wine a day. Men can have up to 8-ounces (2 glasses) daily. Anything past that, however, increases your risk for fat-build up in the blood stream. Long-term excessive alcohol damages the liver, the pancreas, nerve cells and can also contribute to malnutrition. It’s also important to consult your doctor before you start drinking wine if you already suffer from uncontrollable hypertension, congestive heart failure, liver disease, or pancreatitis.

There are a variety of delicious wines to choose from at your local grocer, restaurant or wine bar. There are some, however, that are turning towards making their own wine with products like The Artful Winemaker. By making your own wines, you can explore the varying complexities of different varietals and tweak and blend your creations to fit your palate.

Auguri e buona salute!

[1] According to a study published in the 2007 Journal of Gerontology
[2] According to a Harvard study of factors that influence aging conducted May of 2003
[3] Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI 53792, USA.
[4] According to a study published by the 2007 Harvard School of Public Health
[5] According to Dr. William Davis in his Nov. 13, 2009 “Heart Scan Blog Redux: Cheers to Flavonoids
[6] O’Reilly R. Lack of effect of mealtime wine on the hypoprothrombinemia of oral anticoagulants. Am J Med Sci 1979;277:189-94.
[7] American Chemical Society (2003, September 9). New Cholesterol Fighter Found In Red Wine.ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 19, 2011,
[8] Phytother Res. 2001 Aug;15(5):395-400. Impact of certain flavonoids on lipid profiles—potential action of Garcinia cambogia flavonoids.Koshy ASVijayalakshmi NR. Department of Biochemistry, University of Kerala, Kariavattom, Thiruvananthapuram-695581, India.
[9] According to a 12-year study at Amsterdam’s VU University Medical Center in 2005
[10] According to researchers from the University of California in San Diego.
[11] According to a Stony Brook University study in 2005
[12] According to a 2006 study at Columbia University
[13] University of Buffalo (2002, May 21). Drinking Wine, Particularly White Wine, May Help Keep Lungs Healthy, University At Buffalo Study
[14] According to the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Australia, 2004;

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s