Is red wine the fountain of youth or a powerful toxicant? Current research suggests that consuming the popular libation may be providing you with a little more than spells of bliss and tranquility. |
For over two decades, research has suggested that moderate consumption of alcohol improves the cardiovascular system. Furthermore, some of these studies suggest that red wine, in particular, is most beneficial to your heart. It all started in 1992 when researchers at Harvard University concluded that moderate alcohol consumption stood as a "proven way to reduce coronary heart disease risk." The cardioprotective effect has been attributed to antioxidants, called flavonoids, found in the seeds and skin of grapes.
Does Wine Cure Cancer?
Nothing conclusive has been discovered, at least not yet. However, researchers at the University of California, at Davis tested the flavonoid concentration in a number of wines, concluding that Cabernet Sauvignon has the highest concentration, followed by Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir. Merlot, the wine drinker's most popular libation, came in a close fourth, but not by much.
A different study concluded that another antioxidant called resveratrol, also found in grape skin, could inhibit tumor growth in some cancers. Indications revealed that resveratrol could also regenerate dead nerve cells, which doctors believe could be helpful in the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
Drink In Moderation
A four-ounce measurement constitutes a single serving. Studies show that men can experience health benefits by consuming two of these per day while women should stick to just one. The suggested measurement is based on many surveys taken over a two-decade span, designed to discover the maximum health benefits. That is not to say that you should start drinking red wine if you presently do not. In fact, drinking alcohol can be extremely dangerous for some individuals with certain health issues (e.g., liver cirrhosis, heart disease, pancreatitis, etc.).
Recommendations to consume alcohol are limited to individuals with a clean bill of health. It is clear that people with social and medical conditions degraded by alcohol should avoid drinking at all costs. In fact, those who suffer from a social or medical condition can only worsen their health when drinking, especially if you have congestive heart failure, hypertension, or suffer from depression.
What About Grape Juice and Non-Alcoholic Products?
Way back in 1997, researchers at the University of Wisconsin discovered that purple grape juice could reduce blood clotting. Another study added that non-alcoholic red wine has the same molecular profile as its alcoholic counterpart.
The debate continues whether moderate drinking of red wine, lifestyle choices or the way alcohol is consumed contributes most to these scientific studies. However, the evidence seems clear that healthy people who drink moderately and regularly (stressing moderation) enjoy many health benefits not found elsewhere.
Here's to your health! Cheers!
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