There has been a lot written about the health benefits of wine. The TV show 60 Minutes recently re-aired a show they did a few years back that spoke about the benefits of resveratrol. They started out the show talking about the fact that even though French people tend to eat foods high in fat, their instance of heart disease was below normal. The show can be found here.
I wanted to explore the “truths” and “un-truths” of some of the articles I saw written. While many of the articles I read were misleading there were elements of them that I found very encouraging as a wine drinker.
Many of the articles claimed to be studies done at Harvard and other well-known academic schools. Those claims, for the most part, were untrue. Also, one article stated that wine would make you lose weight and another stated that it reduced dementia and Alzheimer’s. Those two are not telling the exact truth either, but frankly the truth is great enough, so why sensationalize it?
Here’s what I can tell from reputable sources:
It’s not that moderate amounts of wine make you lose weight (as some articles proclaim) but it does help you gain less weight. To us wine drinkers, that’s great, fantastic news. Most people gain a pound or two a year so if you can curtail this—great! Here is the root study.
In it, researchers studied hundreds of randomly picked middle-aged women. The ones who drank a moderate amount of wine (about a half a bottle a day) gained less weight through the years than those who did not drink wine or alcohol at all.
It’s not that moderate amounts of wine have proven to reduce Alzheimer’s and Dementia in people, as many articles have claimed. However, one study on which many were basing their articles, did test mice and those studies did have beneficial effects on mice. A study found here, had a finding from Professor Jeremy Spencer, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, and he said: “… results illustrate for the first time that the moderate consumption of champagne has the potential to influence cognitive functioning, such as memory. Such observations have previously been reported with red wine, through the actions of flavonoids contained within it.” Other research from the University of Reading revealed that two glasses of champagne a day may be good for your heart and circulation and could reduce the risks of suffering from cardiovascular disease and stroke.
In the 60 Minutes show mentioned above and also written in many medical journals, moderate amounts of wine can help with heart disease. In this posting from WebMD it states, “Several reports in 2000 confirmed the glad tidings that wine — in moderation, of course — reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. In the September issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, for instance, Swedish researchers at the Karolinska Institute reported that, compared to teetotalers, light drinkers who consumed wine cut their risk of dying prematurely by almost one third, and wine drinkers as a group had significantly lower mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Actually, drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage helped, the scientists found. But by far the biggest benefit accrued to wine drinkers.”
While that last medical research study shows the benefits of wine on cancer, there is also evidence that wine can lead to cancer. Here is the contra-article to the health case of wine.
So is wine the miracle drug? No, but it has a lot of great benefits in moderation. The fact that moderation is defined as 2-3 glasses a day is great, because that’s about a half a bottle of wine. Especially with my pours.
So go ahead, share this great news with your friends. Make this world a healthier place through wine!