How can red wine improve our health?
The science behind wine is quite interesting. Wine is the type of alcoholic beverage that is a common subject of interest in scientific circles. If we take into account the popularity of the beverage, no wonder we have many studies that explore advantages and disadvantages to health.
I wanted to discover what is hidden behind wine’s health benefits, and this is the result of my research.
Red wine can reduce risks of dementia
According to researchers at Loyola University Medical Center (USA), moderate drinkers are 23% less likely to develop dementia. There are types of normal memory lapses among the older generation, but dementia is a persistent decline in certain intellectual abilities such as memory, language, abstract thinking, and judgment.
“The benefit of moderate alcohol for cognition was seen in both men and women, although the amount and pattern of drinking is very different between the two sexes.”
Red wine can prevent liver diseases
It appears that beer and hard liquor drinkers have more than four times the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease than the wine drinkers, according to a study by UC San Diego School of Medicine.
“In pharmacology, molecular medicine, physician training, clinical trial design and drug development, scientists and researchers here have been working on NALFD and related diseases for a long time. But this is a major step. It creates a single entity able to address every aspect of a global disease that didn’t even exist 35 years ago.”
The important word is – moderation – because while alcohol can prevent liver disease, too much alcohol can cause alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Red wine protects against stroke
A study done by the researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine explains that resveratrol raises levels of an enzyme heme oxygenase that protects nerve cells in the brain from damage after a stroke.
“The data suggest a potential intracellular pathway by which resveratrol can provide cell/organ resistance against neuropathological conditions.”
One study showed that drinking 1–3 glasses of red wine per day, 3–4 days of the week, may reduce the risk of stroke in middle-aged men.
Red wine can decrease the risk of heart diseases
More and more studies are focused on determining whether wine can help to decrease the risks of heart-related illnesses.
Scientists use something called a J-shaped curve to explain the relationship between the wine intake and decreased risk of heart disease. This is a graph that helps scientists see the relationship between certain risk factors, in this situation the risk factors related to the development of heart diseases.
Using this technique, they have concluded that small amounts of red wine may reduce the risk of heart disease because it helps to retain the “good” HDL cholesterol in the blood. Another conclusion was that oxidative damage and the “bad” LDL cholesterol may also be reduced by up to 50% in people who consume a moderate amount of wine.
In fact, small amounts of red wine seem to be linked to more health benefits than any other alcoholic beverage which health benefits the scientists have been researching.
“The cardioprotective effect of wine has been attributed to both components of wine: the alcoholic portion and, more importantly, the alcohol-free portion containing antioxidants.”
According to this study, consuming 2 to 3 glasses of dealcoholized red wine per day lowers blood pressure. On the other hand, it’s crucial to understand that higher intake increases the risk of heart disease dramatically.
“Heavy or binge alcohol consumption unquestionably leads to increased morbidity and mortality.”
The conclusion? The secret is the balance.
Red wine can prevent type 2 diabetes in women
A study conducted on 36 527 adults aged 40-69 brings evidence that red wine could have a positive impact on reducing the risks of developing type 2 diabetes.
“Total alcohol intake was associated with reduced risk only in women. Alcohol from wine was associated with reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes.”
“A high daily intake of alcohol, even on only 1-3 days a week, may increase the risk of diabetes in men.”
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 29 million Americans have diabetes; 1 in 4 doesn’t know.
Red wine can raise the levels of omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important for our organism, and they have all sorts of powerful benefits to our brain. These healthy fats are linked to the reduced risk of macular degeneration and heart-related diseases.
For women, especially during pregnancy, it is important to keep the right level of omega-3 fatty acids to ensure brain growth and development in infants as well as to decrease the risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Omega-3s can fight inflammation and autoimmune diseases, which is also important during pregnancy.
According to a study, drinking red wine can effectively provide the necessary omega-3 fatty acids and raise their levels than eating oily fish.
The research showed that moderate wine drinkers can have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood. With higher levels of omega-3s in the blood, the risk of developing coronary heart disease is decreased.
Red wine can help decrease the risk of depression
Depression is a real illness and it can affect people in different ways. Untreated depression can result in weight gain or loss, insomnia, which is the most common problem, or an increased need to sleep, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. It can turn into more difficult mental disorders.
But, depression is treatable.
Although it is not rare to use alcohol to treat mental problems and issues, unlike other alcoholic beverages, moderate consumption of wine can bring positive results and prevent depression.
Two studies showed that middle-aged and elderly people who drank 2–7 glasses of wine per week were less likely to become depressed. However, there’s is a consideration:
“Moderate consumption of wine may reduce the incidence of depression, while heavy drinkers seem to be at higher risk.”
Thus, while wine can help prevent mental illnesses and depression, heavy drinkers are at risk of increasing the symptoms of illness and developing more serious problems and conditions.