The Health Benefits of Wine
“Have a glass of wine, it’s good for you”, your host says. Do you believe them? In this post, we share some of the potential health benefits of wine.
What’s in a glass?
Red wine contains high levels of polyphenols, resveratrol and antioxidants. In general, the darker the wine, the higher the antioxidant content. In tests, cabernet sauvignon grapes were shows to contain the most polyphenols. Medium to high level antioxidant content are found in merlot, zinfandel, syrah and petit syrah.
How much wine you can drink in one sitting before the health benefits turn into hazards depends on many factors, including the person’s size, age, sex, body stature and general state of health, as well as whether it is being consumed with food or on an empty stomach. In general 1-2 glasses is considered moderate consumption.
- According to a Finnish study published in the Journal of Gerontology (2007) wine drinkers have a 34% lower mortality rate than beer or spirits drinkers.
- Red wine contains resveratrol (coming from the skins of red grapes) which can increase life span.
- A 2006 study by the University of London found that procyanidins found in red wine, keep blood vessels health and are one of the factors that contribute towards longer life spans.
- A Harvard School of Public Health study which ran for 16 years and was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (2007) showed that moderate drinkers suffering from high blood pressure are 30% less likely to have a heart attack than nondrinkers.
- Red-wine tannins (a natural occurring polyphenol found in fruit skins, adding bitterness, astringency and complexity to a wine) contain procyanidins, which protect against heart disease (Queen Mary University London, Nature, 2006).
Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Research on 369,862 individuals studied over an average of 12 years each conducted by Amsterdam’s VU University Medical Center and published in Diabetes Care (2005) found that moderate drinkers have 30% less risk than nondrinkers of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Insulin resistance is the most critical factor contributing in types 2 diabetes risk. Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences suggest that resveratrol found in red wine, improves sensitivity to insulin in mice (2007).
Lowers Risk of Stroke
- The possibility of suffering a blood clot related stroke drops by about 50% in people who consume moderate amounts of wine (Columbia University, Stroke, 2006)
- Not only does drinking red wine lower risk of stroke but also minimises damage after a stroke. According to researchers at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, the resveratrol in red wine raises levels of heme oxygenase, an enzyme known to protect nerve cells in the brain from damage so what somebody suffers a stroke, the brain is ready to protect itself because of higher enzyme levels.
Cuts Risk of Colon Cancer
- Scientists from the University of Leicester reported at the 2nd International Scientific Conference on Resveratrol and Health (2012) that regular, moderate red wine consumption can reduce the rate of bowel tumours by approx. 50%.