Theres little debate that drinking moderate amounts of red wine can help the fight against heart disease, Alzheimers disease and some cancers, especially in women. The key to how much your body benefits though, is in your genes.
red wine may have health benefits
The ancient Egyptians and Greeks considered wine to be “good for health” and used it as a form of medicine. But researchers question whether this belief holds true.
What researchers have found is this: The skin and seeds of grapes may have healthy properties. A big part of this power comes from the antioxidant resveratrol. This natural plant chemical protects your cells from damage that could lead to cancer.
Red wine is full of resveratrol because it’s made from grapes. But researchers are still trying to confirm whether the resveratrol in red wine actually reduces cancer risk But if you have cancer try doing different things than drinking alcohol as this is not recommended with the therapy, Here are some things to avoid during radiation therapy.
The serving sizes for alcoholic beverages for men and women are different because women have less water in their bodies to dilute the effects of alcohol. As a result, the alcohol stays in a woman’s body longer than a man’s. And the longer large amounts of alcohol stay in your body, the higher your risk for brain and organ damage, high blood pressure and stroke .
But don’t forget, just a little bit of wine, alcohol drinking can also get out of control in some, this is also partly in your genes.
Drinking red wine provides a degree of protection against coronary heart disease. Alcohol as such has some advantages that could explain the positive influence on coronary heart disease but probably red wine has greater anti-atherosclerotic or antithrombotic actions than alcohol alone because it contains a variety of polyphenols with their own profile of protective properties. As such red wine is comparable to dark chocolate.
One of the possible mechanisms for polyphenolen to have a positive influence on the cardiovascular system is it’s antioxidant properties.
But the general conclusion from studies over the past few years is that the absorption of polyphenols is insufficient for exerting any antioxidant effect.
In a recent editorial a common mechanism for both red wine and dark chocolate is discussed. According to the author it is most probable that procyanidine, a flavanol, triggers an endothelial response thereby improving the endothelial function and decreasing the risk on cardiovascular disease. However these claims are based on in vitro research, done in the lab that is. This hypothesis has to be proven in vivo, in real humans and patients. It isn’t even clear how much and what kind of flavanols are absorbed to the bloodstream.
Clinical trials of red wine leading to health claims are unlikely on ethical and safety grounds. Nevertheless, some carefully controlled studies in volunteers could provide useful insights into the relative importance of alcohol versus polyphenol constituents on vascular function
and antithrombotic effects.
As in chocolate not every wine or red wine has a high content of flavanols. White wine has a lower content of flavanols approximately 8 times less and white wines do not contain procyanidins because the juice is fermented without seeds or skin. Procyanidins in red wine are derived mainly from the grape seeds, but owing to their poor solubility, seeds need to be present in the fermenting for at least 10–14 days for extraction of maximum amounts. So most cheap mass produced red wine isn’t fermented during two weeks and lack procyanidins. Manufacturing processes also affect levels of flavanols in chocolate products.
It is frequently stated that dark chocolate is a richer-source of flavonoids (often just referred to as antioxidants) than red wine. This is misleading because if it is based on a serving of similar calorific value this difference is no longer apparent. There are also large variations for both red wine and dark chocolate, so a generalisation that one is a better choice is unreliable. A future requirement for product labels to include information on flavanol content is essential for consumers.
It is a pity chocolate with red wine doesn’t taste so well, except port wine but the flavanols content of port wine is not very well known, less attention has been paid to this subject.
You can always take your dark chocolate with green tea.
By the way he recommends no more than 25 gram, or 2.5 squares of dark chocolate, a day. That is much more than the 6 grams advised in another post on this blog: How much chocolate is good for your health.
Based on the evidence to date, there should be a degree of optimism that well-characterised flavanol-rich products will appear with a body of evidence to support meaningful benefits and justify health claims.
The author of this editorial Roger Corder also recently published a book: The Red Wine Diet.