Evidence of the health benefits of wine

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Evidence of the health benefits of wine has continued to pour out from medical researchers around the globe. There are now numerous studies corroborating the positive news for wine enthusiasts – and wine lovers alike: Numerous studies in recent years confirmed that wine – in modest moderation, of course, always – lowers the risk of heart attacks and other heart complications. In the process, wine also lowers blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol and the levels of several inflammatory chemicals, as well. It is even said to lower cancer risk. So, what is it about wine that adds to these health benefits?

Researchers have attributed the results of all of these findings to a compound found in red wine called resveratrol. This compound appears to act like an antioxidant, neutralizing harmful free radicals and other molecules that can attack the body. In a report published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers reported that drinking at least two glasses of red wine with dinner can help reduce cardiovascular disease risks. Among the study’s many other health benefits of wine, this is probably the one with the biggest payoff: drinkers of red wine were given a stronger, healthier taste than they had before the treatment.

Another study published last year in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported that women who consumed at least three glasses of red wine a day reduced their chances of having breast cancer. The amount of wine was not specified, but the report estimated that it could be up to four glasses. It is not clear from this report that wine was consumed, but either way, these benefits of wine appear to apply to drinkers of all types. Men, too, could benefit from wine, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Men who drank at least three glasses of red wine daily lowered their risk for heart disease by a significant amount.

No study published last year reported any significant benefits for non-drinkers. Non-drinkers seem to get only mild benefits from wine, if any at all. One study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported that nondrinkers benefited more from a drug called vardenafil, which is used to treat high blood pressure. Vardenafil increased the length of time patients took the drug without increasing the drug’s heart rate or cholesterol levels. Nondrinkers do not typically benefit from this kind of treatment, because vardenafil acts on arteries and not the heart.

The benefits of wine are not limited to its heart benefits and anti-acids. Wine has also been shown to have some positive effects on oral health. The 2021 issue of Nutrition Research reported that the amount of calcium absorbed from wine was similar to that from soda. Non-drinkers did not fare better at getting their recommended daily allowance of calcium than drinkers of red wine. However, those who drink wine were found to have greater bone mineral density than non-drinkers. Researchers aren’t sure why wine gives nonsmokers a greater bone mineral density. The amount of wine drinkers in a group may not make a difference. The benefits of wine in non-smokers, however, are likely due to the moderate drinkers in the study. It could be that wine helps moderate drinkers enjoy better dental health than they would otherwise.