Health Benefits from drinking Wine in Moderation
By Allen Dossey
Purple Toad Winery
The debate over drinking wine and its health benefits has gone on for centuries. As far back as 2200 BC wine has been documented as a medicine, as an antiseptic for treating injuries and as a healthy alternative to impure water. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s alcohol in general came under fire due to the result of excessive drinking. The Prohibition experiment in the US ran from 1920 to 1933. It ran in Russia from 1914 to 1925, and in Finland from 1919 to 1932. Several other countries had Prohibition periods enacted similar to the US’s, Finland’s and Russia’s.
The attitude of Wine changed again in the US in 1991 in which a story ran on the show “60 Minutes” about the “French Paradox” . at the heart of the French Paradox theory was that French people had a much lower incidence of coronary disease, than their American counterpart, even though the French consumed higher amounts of fatty foods. The contention was that the French consume Red Wine at a much higher rate than their American counterpart and that red wine was the contributing factor.
The airing of the “French Paradox” started the wheels in motion for varies medical research institutions to do studies as to the effect of wine and alcohol and health. The consensus from those studies is that wine can be beneficial to one’s health if consumed in moderation.
The next question is what type of wine gives the best benefits and at what consumption rate. Most studies show that two ingredients have the most effect in your health, moderate amounts of alcohol and a polyphenol called resveratrol an “ antioxidant”
First lets discuss where the largest concentration of resveratrol is found. The highest concentration of resveratrol is found in the grape skin. Red wines are processed and fermented on the skins for days and sometimes weeks. White wines are pressed and fermented off of the skins as soon as possible. So the highest concentration of resveratrol will be found in red wines.. Red wines do include fruit wines that have been fermented on the skins.
The second major ingredient in wine for one’s health is alcohol… The key to this is in moderation. Many will ask what is moderation.. In most cases it is considered one to two glasses of wine and a glass of wine is generally considered 6 1/2 ounces. A standard 750ml bottle of wine holds four 6 1/2 ounces glasses of wine.
When do I get the most benefit from wine? Most studies show that the consumption of wine at meal time gives the most benefit. Studies reported by such organizations as Mayo Clinic show that wine in moderation can prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces “bad” cholesterol , prevents strokes and prevents blood clots. Wine does this by raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good cholesterol, reduces the formation of blood clots, and helps to reduce artery damage caused by high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the “bad cholesterol.
It appears from all of the new studies, that the consumption of wine in moderation does have many health benefits to consumers