In the past few decades, a debate has begun about the health benefits of wine, and studies have linked drinking red wine to longevity and a lower risk of heart disease. Is wine really useful for health?
Wine and heart health:
People have been drinking alcohol for thousands of years, although the World Health Organization has reported that alcoholic beverages kill millions every year.
When we mention the health benefits of wine, many people may have heart health. But less well-known research has revealed a strong link between alcohol and cancer, with the study stating that consuming one bottle a week of wine may increase the likelihood of cancer for non-smokers by 1 percent for men and 1.4 percent for women.
One bottle of wine a week is equivalent to smoking five cigarettes for men and 10 cigarettes for women.
Research demonstrating the benefits of alcohol use dates back to the 1970s when researchers noted that French people are less likely to develop heart disease than other people, even though they eat more saturated fats.
They noted a clear link between wine consumption and low rates of heart disease, and scientists are still trying to untangle this puzzling relationship so far.
What’s better, reducing wine drinking or giving it up at all?
Studies led us to believe that drinking alcohol in moderation may reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
Early research has shown that regular drinking can lead to longer life, improved health and protection against cognitive impairment, says Helena,Conibear, assistant director of the International Scientific Forum for Alcohol Research.
Since then, scientists have long agreed that completely abstaining from alcohol is more harmful to health than consuming moderate amounts of them (equivalent to once or twice a day).
But now many researchers believe that most of this information is incorrect, because the people who underwent these studies may not have been ill because they abstained from drinking, and may even have refrained from drinking alcohol because they were sick.
An analysis of 54 studies in 2016 found no relationship between moderate drinking and a lower risk of heart disease.
Over the past five years, Conibear says, scientists have examined some other factors that may influence these results, such as the richness of wine drinkers, their high level of education and physical activity.
A recent study on the impact of wine on health:
In a 2019 study, researchers for 10 years followed more than 500,000 adults in China and excluded people with health problems.
Zingming Chen, one of the authors of the study and professor of epidemiology at Oxford University, says genetic differences in some people make them not tolerate drinking at all. People who have no genetic defects can drink any amounts of wine.
A study found that the higher people consume alcohol, the more likely they are to have high blood pressure and stroke, over a period of 10 years, but alcohol consumption has not affected the likelihood of heart attacks.
The higher people consume alcohol, the more likely they are to develop high blood pressure and stroke, but the researchers found no relationship between drinking and heart attack.
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The health benefits of wine:
Wine is generally a healthy choice among alcoholic beverages because it contains antioxidants called polyphenols, which are also found in plants and vegetables. Multiple phenols have anti-inflammatory properties. Red wine has multiple phenols ratios that are 10 times higher than white.
Alberto Bertelli,a researcher in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Milan, discovered that drinking mummifies in small quantities may protect us from heart disease, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. However, he recommended that wine be drunk only with meals and not exceed 160 millilitres per day.
Research has focused on resveratrol among multiple phenolic compounds, which are found in grape shells and seeds, and are believed to protect the body from high blood pressure by expanding blood vessels.
Although white wine does not contain resveratrol, Bertelli noted that it has the same health benefits as red wine, if the wine has benefited from the original.
“In white wine, we found two compounds of healthy compounds, found in virgin olive oil of roughly the same proportions,” says Bertelli, and it was discovered that these two compounds, Terusol and Hydroxy, were prevented from Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies have shown that red wine is beneficial for gut health, which improves the body’s immunity and digestion and helps maintain a healthy weight. A recent study on the drinking habits of twins, the researchers concluded, that red wine helps increase the diversity of bacteria living in the gut, which are associated with improving overall health.
But the benefits of wine on the gut have been found in people who drink one glass of red wine a week.
Red wine benefits:
When we talk about the health benefits of wine, we have to mention red wine. The researchers noted that the BMI of people who drink red wine is lower than others, but perhaps because red wine drinkers have a healthy lifestyle.
“The reddest wine drinkers exercise regularly, richer and healthier,” says Mark Bellis, director of policy, research and international development at Public Health Wales.
Another 2015 study concluded that drinking only 150 millilitres of red wine may reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease among diabetics.
Caroline Lee Roy, an author of the study on alcohol consumption and gut health and a researcher at King’s College London, says red wine may be the best choice among alcoholic beverages, but the best choice for health is to abstain altogether from drinking.
“Alcohol is known to be harmful to health, but if you drink it, choose red wine, because it’s the only one that’s proven to have health benefits,” Roy tells me. But I don’t encourage anyone to drink red wine.”
Does this mean that red wine is a healthy choice?
Researchers believe that the amount of resveratrol absorbed by the bloodstream after drinking red wine may not be enough to produce an antioxidant effect, while others believe that the compound may not remain in the bloodstream long enough to benefit the body.
Much research has been done on resveratrol supplement tablets, although their effectiveness has not yet been proven, and Bertelli believes that alcohol in wine helps the body absorb resveratrol in the bloodstream.
Uk Health Guidelines advises against exceeding 14 units of alcohol per week, and the unit is equivalent to 10 millilitres of alcohol. The researchers agree that the best option for our health is to refrain from drinking, and that red wine is the best choice among alcoholic beverages for drinkers.
Bellis warns against drinking red wine for its health benefits because there are other alternatives to improving our health more effective than red wine.
And it’s still the best ways to improve health is to eat more fruits and vegetables, to exercise, not to drink wine.