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10 New Wonders of Wine

10 New Wonders of Wine

  • “It’s safe to say that alcohol is both a tonic and a poison. The difference lies mostly in the dose.” —Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

  • 1. The Downside of Drinking: Drinking alcohol has several pros and cons. Moderate drinking may be good for the heart and circulatory system and may protect against type 2 diabetes and gallstones. But heavy drinking may be bad for the liver and heart, increase cancer risk, and contribute to preventable death. (Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health)

  • 2. Heart-to-Heart on Too Much Drinking: Excessive drinking of alcohol can raise triglyceride levels and lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, and an increased calorie intake. Drinking too much can lead to stroke, fetal alcohol syndrome, cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia, and sudden cardiac death. (American Heart Association)

  • 3. Limited Cardiovascular Effects With Diabetes: In a recent study, patients with well controlled type 2 diabetes drank red wine for 4 weeks; 2-3 standard drinks/d raised awake blood pressure and 24-h heart rate and lowered asleep BP but did not otherwise modify cardiovascular risk factors. (Journal of Hypertension)

  • 4. Resveratrol Slows Alzheimer Disease: Present in red wine, grapes, berries, chocolate, and peanuts, this compound has strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anticancer properties. Resveratrol also plays a therapeutic role in reducing the risk of neurodegenerative disorders, especially Alzheimer. (Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry)

  • 5. Resveratrol for AFib: The resveratrol found in red wine may exhibit direct effects on cardiac function and rhythm through modulation of signaling pathways that regulate cardiac remodeling and ion channel activity that controls cardiac excitability. Novel resveratrol derivatives with improved efficacy against AFib are in development. (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences)

  • 6. “I Don’t Always Drink, But When I Do…”: The American Heart Association recommends not drinking, or at least drinking in moderation. Moderation = 1-2 drinks/d for men and 1 drink/d for women. 1 drink of wine = 4 oz. (American Heart Association)

  • 7. Drinking Ups Cancer Risk: Light-moderate drinking (≤ 2 drinks/d) is associated with minimally increased risk of overall cancer. Among those who never smoked, alcohol-related cancer risk is not appreciably increased for men. But for women the risk (mainly breast cancer) increases even with ≤1 drink/d. (British Medical Journal)

  • 8. Flavonoids Lessen ED: A higher habitual intake of specific flavonoid-rich foods is associated with reduced erectile dysfunction. After multivariate adjustment, including classic cardiovascular disease risk factors, reduced ED incidence was associated with flavones, flavanones, and anthocyanins. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)

  • 9. Pick Your Poison: Arsenic levels in investigated American wines exceeded those found in other studies that involved water, bottled water, apple juice, apple juice blend, milk, and rice syrup. The pervasive presence of arsenic in wine poses a potential health risk to regular adult wine drinkers. (Journal of Environmental Health)

  • 10. Aging Like a Fine Wine: In a recent study of older Spanish patients, moderate alcohol consumption, particularly wine consumption, was associated with a more active lifestyle and better perception of one’s own health. (Quality of Life Research)

Wine has been blamed for causing everything from headaches to liver disease, but it’s credited with curing many things, from obesity to the common cold. Tonic or poison, elixir or toxin—the health benefits and harms of drinking wine have been debated for centuries, even millenia.

Research into the health pros and cons of drinking wine is ongoing. Click above for a quick review of the latest findings of the past few weeks and months.

See references, below, for more additional information on all slides.



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