put things in the correct perspective, let us
list the disadvantages first. Wine usually contains
11-14% alcohol which is toxic. Effects on liver,
brain, grey cells dieing and increase in ac
rate while driving under the influence of over-consumption
of alcohol due to excessive wine (more than
3 glasses) are well known. There has been overwhelming
evidence that wine in moderate quantity is extremely
beneficial for health. Wine inhibits the growth
of all microorganisms that cause several known
diseases. Because of the alcohol and a content
they simply tend to die in wine. Wine used to
be a part of medical treatment till the beginning
of 20th century. Heart: A Canadian website
quotes two doctors Dr. Lipp and Dr. Whiten who
reported in 1994 that 'if every adult in North
America drank 2 glasses of wine a day, the in
of heart disease in America would come down
by 40% and US$ 40 Billion could be saved every
The French Paradox, a term coined in 1991, presented
enough evidence that drinking moderate amount
of red wine daily reduces the in of heart attacks.
Dr. Serge Renaud, Director of the French National
Institute Health and Medical Research felt that
the Paradox was due to the wine drinking habit
in France. Wine contains phenolic compounds
like resveratrol and flavonoids present in grape
skins, stems and seeds which are anti oxidants
that inhibit platelet clotting and produce better
HDL-LDL (good -bad) cholesterol ratio.
The number of phenolic compounds in a particular
wine varies but typically red wine contains
more than 50 constituents. Resveratrol is a
natural fungi in the grape skins that provides
protection for the grape in cool and damp climate.
In white wine production, seeds and skins are
almost immediately removed from the juice. Stems
are invariably not used in these wines. Therefore,
resveratrol and flavonoids are much less in
white wines. The total amount of these compounds
is 1-3 gms./lit. of red wine compared to about
200mgm in white wines. Usually, oxidation of
LDL results in development of arterial plaques
resulting in heart attacks. These anti-oxidants
slow down this process. Since red wines have
a lot more of these flavonoids, they are better
for heart and as anti aging agents.
Over 100 studies have been conducted to study
the effect of wine on heart in the last 10 years.
In 1993, WHO and Collaborative Center for Nutrition
at the Harvard Medical School and Public Health
developed a Mediterranean dieting programme
which included wine as part of the recommended
diet. In 1995, Dietary Guidelines for Americans
admitted for the first time that modest drinking
of wine may reduce the risk of coronary heart
disease among males of 45 years and women of
65 years. Also in 1995, a study conducted in
Copenhagen from 1976-1988 over 13000 men and
women between 30 and 70 years of age concluded
that those who drank 3-5 glasses of wine a day
had half the mortality risk of those who did
not drink at all or drank beer and hard drinks.
Danes drink 30% more wine than about 20 years
ago and the in of heart diseases has decreased
by 30%. Stroke : Also, the flavonoids
lower the chance of platelet aggregation. Two
studies conducted a few years ago have shown
a significant risk reduction in the most commonly
occurring ischemic strokes. Cancer: In of breast cancer
increases a little, especially for younger women.
But a study conducted by Dr. Renaud of the French
Paradox fame showed a reduction in cancer by
18 - 24%. Recent study by a in cancer
in a recent study by American Cancer
Society conducted on
age can cut the risk of premature death by 20%.
More studies need to be conducted, though, to
be as conclusive as the effect of wine on heart
and its anti aging properties. Dementia: There is evidence
that moderate wine drinkers are less likely
to develop dementia than heavy or non-drinkers.
A study conducted in USA in 1998 shows that
moderate wine drinkers have their visual cells
preserved 20% better than beer or non-drinkers.
Respiratory diseases: Some people suffering
from asthma feel that the respiratory problem
increases on drinking wine. Headaches: Some people suffer
headaches on drinking red wine. This is perhaps,
due to the phenolics which liberate from cells
the chemical messenger, Scrotonin, which contributes
towards headaches. Grape skins also contain
histamines that react with alcohol and cause
drowsiness. Taking Sudafed tablet before taking
wine helps prevent headaches and drowsiness.
Recent studies indicate that aspirin is better
for red wine headaches. Please consult a doctor
before taking any medication.
Blood Pressure: Alcohol is reported to increase
blood pressure. However, when taken in moderate
quantity, the polyphenols in red wine help relax
the walls of the blood vessels and reduce blood
pressure and the risk of blood clotting. Cold: A recent study has established
the benefit of wine in reducing the in of catching
cold. Regular drinking of wine ( red or white)
results in 40% reduction. For details visit
our website. Lungs: Good news for smokers!
White wine is good for lungs. Please see our
earlier article on the website for details of
the latest study. HOW MUCH WINE TO DRINK: Most
wine lovers agree that a bottle of red wine
should be split by 2 people (2.5 glasses per
person). This is more than the alcohol limit
prescribed and also can cause negative effects
due to alcohol over a long period and may increase
exposure of breast cancer for women.. The Harvard
Dieting Pyramid recommends between 1-2 glasses
per day. AWARE (American Wine Alliance for Research
and Education) recommends 1-2 drinks for women
and 2-3 drinks for men.
Dr. Christian Bernard, who conducted the first
heart transplant has recommended 2 glasses a
day. Dr. Naresh Trehan, the well known cardiologist
and Executive Director of Escorts Heart Institute
recommends a glass of red wine every day. This
is also the legal limit of alcohol allowed for
safe driving. FRENCH PARADOX: The word 'French
Paradox' was coined on Sunday, November 17,
1991, in the CBS Programme, '60 Minutes' watched
by 20 million Americans. The French Scientist
and Doctor Serge Renaud produced evidence that
while the French ate excess amount of fats,
smoked heavily and did little exercise, the
in of heart disease was one of the lowest in
the world. He had conducted a study on 34000
men and women, smokers and non- smokers, which
showed that people drinking 2-3 glasses of wine
a day reduced the death rate by upto 30 %.
Sale of red wine shot up by 40 % overnight and
the House of Gallo had to ration their signature
red wine, Hearty Burgundy. Next year saw a further
jump of 39% in the sale of red wine.
60 Minutes followed up the story 4 years later
on November, 5, 1995 and concluded that French
had one-third rate of heart disease than the
Consumption May Be Good for the Lungs.
new study conducted by the University of Buffalo
School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences,
indicates that white-wine drinkers have healthier
lungs than nondrinkers, beer or spirits drinkers
and also red-wine drinkers. "If our findings
are real, the observation that the association
was slightly stronger for white wine than for
red wine is surprising, because it has been
suggested that red wine has greater health benefits
than white wine," wrote the researchers.
Both red and white wine contain
natural compounds called polyphenols, which
are known to act as antioxidants, which protect
body tissues from damage over time. But red
wine generally contains greater amounts of polyphenols,
which include tannins and the pigments in grape
skins that give red wine its color.
The study, headed by Dr. Holger
Schünemann, Assistant Professor at the
University was presented at the International
Conference of the American Thoracic Society
on May 20 in Atlanta. Schünemann and his
team initiated the study to try to establish
a link between wine-drinking and lung health
-- an association that is under-represented
in the medical world, he said. "Pulmonary function
is a very important predictor of mortality.
This is not as well recognized as blood pressure
or cholesterol, although it is equally important,"
said Schünemann. "One of the reasons [the
study was conducted] is that there seems to
be little nearly 500,000 men and women concluded
that a drink a day in
about what could actually modify lung function
or the decline in lung function with aging."
The researchers studied a total of 1,555 residents
of Erie and Niagara counties in New York state
and who were 60 years old and did not have a
history of lung disorders. The participants
were interviewed about their dietary habits,
smoking patterns and alcohol consumption over
the past 30 days and during their entire lives.
Tests were done to determine the subjects' lung
capacity and health, such as measuring the volume
of air they could exhale in one second.
It was found that those who
drank white wine only had the healthiest lungs
-- in terms of the breakdown of tissue with
age, rather than specific diseases -- followed
by red wine drinkers. Consumption of beer and
spirits showed little or no beneficial effect
on the lungs, similar to those who had never
drunk in their lives and to former drinkers.
Fewer than 14 percent of the subjects were current
smokers.This number is too small to correctly
gauge if the antioxidants in wine can counteract
the negative effects of
smoking on the lungs.Also, most of the participants
were overweight, which could have affected the
results. Schünemann stressed that the study
is not intended to change
people's drinking habits, but was designed to
observe ways to keep lungs healthy.
Posted on 16.06.2002
findings over the last five years have already
proved conclusively that red wine has anti-aging
properties and is good for heart if taken regularly
in moderate quantities. Now a Study done by
Spanish researchers has concluded that consumption
of wine can reduce the chance of catching cold
by upto 40%.
A team of doctors from the
University of Santiago de Compostela, University
Hospital of Canary Islands and Dr. Miguel Harnan
of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston
studied 4,272 teachers in five universities
year. Common cold conditions like sneezing,
sore throat, running nose, cough and cold headaches
were regularly logged by all the males and females.
The study indicated that the
people who drank a daily average of more than
2 glasses of wine experienced 40% reduction
compared to those who did not drink any alcohol.