Saturday, February 7, 2015
Health benefits of wine
"Nothing more excellent or valuable than wine was ever granted by the gods to man." –Plato Polyphenols (a group of chemical substances found in plants) and resveratrol (an antioxidant found in red grape skins), both found in red wine, may offer significant antioxidant protection and have the potential to overcome free radicals that cause cellular damage, which is a root cause of various forms of cancer and heart disease. A 2003 Harvard study has shown that resveratrol extends the life span of yeast cells by 80%. Further studies show that regular, light to moderate alcohol consumption may preserve cognitive function in the elderly, including the prevention or postponement of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other forms of dementia. There have been more than 400 studies conducted worldwide, many of them longitudinal with large sample sizes. Studies indicate that red wine can raise HDL (the good cholesterol) and prevent LDL (the bad cholesterol) from forming. Additionally, red wine may help prevent blood clots, reduce the blood vessel damage caused by fat deposits, and decrease the risk of developing diabetes. Other medical studies point to multiple benefits of regular, moderate wine drinking to include lowered risks of stroke, colorectal tumors, skin and other types of cancers, and even the common cold, as well as reduce the effects of scarring from radiation treatments. Further studies show moderate, regular consumption of wine or beer decreases the risk of peptic ulcers and even rid the body of the bacteria suspected of causing them. So what is the bottom line? The multitude of studies conducted worldwide regarding the health benefits of moderate, regular wine consumption have all concluded that healthy people who drink wine regularly and moderately live longer. They key is moderation. Drinking too much alcohol (more than two glasses per day) has shown to have the reverse effect of the above listed health benefits and has even been proven to increase cancer risks.