Wine and Health: What's All the Buzz About?

More and more, physicians are extolling the benefits of moderate amounts of wine and relating it to heart health.

How Is Wine Actually Good For You?

Bearing in mind the negative side effects associated with drinking, doctors are not necessarily encouraging people towards alcohol; however, if used in moderation, red wine is the winner when it comes to heart health.

But why red wine, out of all the possible alcohols to choose from? Research reported by the Mayo Clinic hypothesizes that antioxidants in red wine, especially resveratrol, can aid in protecting blood vessels, lowering cholesterol levels, and preventing blood clots.

Resveratrol is found in the skin of grapes. Because red wine has a longer fermentation process than white, more time passes before the skins are removed, allowing more resveratrol to be released. (The same applies for red grape juice versus white grape juice). These initial perceived circulatory benefits have encouraged people to choose red wine to help out their hearts.

As scientists continue researching the connection between wine and health, they’ve found that circulatory benefit alone is not the only incentive to raise a glass on the regular. Health reports that moderate, daily ingestion of wine may also help to:

  • Improve memory: Cognitive symptoms like blood clots and inflamed blood vessels that often lead to further issues can be avoided with improved memory maintenance and function.
  • Maintain an ideal weight: Those who drink wine daily enjoy narrower waists and less abdominal fat (the dangerous type most indicative of weight-related diseases like type 2 diabetes).
  • Improve immune system reactions and prevent food poisoning: The New York Times named two different studies, a Spanish study in 2002 and an American study in 1992, as evidence where people who consumed alcohol at a meal where contaminated food was served were less likely to suffer from food poisoning.
  • Reduce the risk of ovarian cancer: Both an Australian study and a study at the University of Hawaii compared women with ovarian cancer to those who were cancer-free. The cancer-free women were more likely to have had a daily glass of wine.
  • Prevent bone loss: Some studies suggest that alcohol encourages the production of estrogen. As a result, it prevents women’s bones from breaking down due to osteoporosis, an epidemic especially common in females.

How Much Wine Is Needed To Receive Health Benefits?

In order to avoid side effects like high blood pressure, liver damage, obesity, and heart failure, it is always wise to drink in moderation; defined as one drink per day for women, and two for men. For a full glass or serving, a six ounce portion must be poured—and toasted to a happy, healthy heart!