17 Jul 15 Health Benefits of Wine According to Science
Author: Jen Miller
Source: Jen Reviews Wine
In times of celebration, a wine toast may be just one of the most awaited part by many. Popping open the cork while the velvety oaked aroma fills the air and flowing effervescent liquid comes out from the bottle gives excitement to everyone.
Bubbly is usually used to commemorate joyous occasions in one’s life as it symbolizes royalty and reflects love. But aside from taking part in celebrations, wines come with a host of important benefits.
Wine has undergone intensive studies over the years and it has been proven to be an effective elixir. Who says a man needs a fountain of youth to live a long life? Pour yourself a glass of wine from the wine cooler and bottle up some knowledge to find out the surprising benefits.
1. Drinking Wine Supports Longevity of Life
Resveratrol is a polyphenol that can be found most especially in red wines. It is a powerful antioxidant that can be found in grape skins and red grape juice. Antioxidants help the body fight off free radicals that can damage our cells and organs.
Studies show that resveratrol promotes health and longevity by increasing the activity of a protein called sirtuins. Sirtuins are responsible for protecting the body against age-related diseases. (1)
Several studies have suggested that alcohol consumption, particularly wines, have shown health benefits that lead to longer life spans. Nonetheless, these studies emphasize that positive benefits only come with moderate consumption.
Key Takeaway: If you want to protect your body against diseases of aging, consuming a moderate amount of wine gives positive health benefits that may lead to long life.
2. Drinking Wine Helps Keep Our Hearts Healthy
Since ancient times, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) have been a known, life-threatening problem for the world.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to the present time, many people are still dying annually from CVD. This is in contrast to any other disease and it has been the number 1 cause of mortality and morbidity all around the globe. (2)
Many researchers have shown that intake of polyphenols is associated with a reduced risk of CVD. Wines contain polyphenols which can be actively found in flavonoids that also has putative antioxidant properties.
These polyphenols once again are called resveratrol which may help protect the lining of the blood vessel in the heart. Consuming 1 to 2 drinks per day may reduce the risk of CVDs.
Drinking wine may help in decreasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) also known as bad cholesterol which may cause artery damage while increasing the body’s high-density lipoprotein (HDL). This is also known as a good cholesterol which may reduce the risk of heart disease. Moreover, wine prevents the formation of blood clots. (3)
Key Takeaway: Drinking 1 glass of wine a day may lower the risk of having CVD because of the polyphenols that it contains.
3. Drinking Wine Can Help Reduce The Risk Of Type-2 Diabetes
Type-2 Diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus) is a lifelong metabolic disorder that is characterized by the way your body metabolizes glucose (sugar). Sugar levels build up in your bloodstream because there isn’t enough insulin that can regulate the movement of sugar into the cells. (4)
The number of people suffering from diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. The prevalence of diabetes prevalence is rapidly rising. According to American Diabetes Association (ADA), drinking red wine – or any moderate amount of alcoholic beverage can lower blood sugar levels, up to 24 hours.
However, people with Type-2 Diabetes have typically been advised to reduce their alcohol consumption in order to have a better control of their blood glucose levels. Because of this, ADA recommends checking your blood sugar before you drink, while you drink and after you drink to make sure that it is on the safe level.
Do not drink on an empty stomach because it can lower your glucose levels even further.
Key Takeaway: Wine drinking can lower blood sugar levels with moderate consumption.
4. Wine Has Been Found To Have Anticancer Effects
Cancer ranks as the second leading cause of death in the world. Cancer is the transformation of normal cells into tumor cells that have become malignant.
Wines contain antioxidants – a substance that may prevent cell damage. Anti-oxidants found in wine such as resveratrol, quercetin, catechin and gallic acid destroy cancer cells, thus improving the effectiveness of radiation and chemotherapy cancer treatments.
These antioxidants make tumor cells more sensitive to radiation and making normal tissue less sensitive. (5)
Do not underestimate the growing power of a bottle of red. The red grape suppresses the activity of aromatase which can be an effective approach to preventing the development of breast cancer.
Also, a recent study shows that three or more glasses of wine in a week can lower the chances of abnormal colon growth which can lead to colon cancer.
Key Takeaway: Wine contains antioxidants which help prevent cancer and improve the efficacy of cancer therapies.
5. The Nutrients In Wine Can Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
People growing older always fear the loss of all their precious memories. Some believe it is inevitable, however, there are literally hundreds of ways that one can prevent this. One of these methods may just be wine.
Dementia is a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental process that gradually takes place during old age. Studies show that wine consumption can reduce the risk of dementia which often leads to Alzheimer’s Disease. Again, resveratrol comes into play. Found in wine, it helps to keep blood vessels open, so that an essential supply of oxygen and glucose can move freely to the brain to keep it alive and working. (6)
Key Takeaway: Resveratrol which can be found in wine keeps blood vessels free from blockages that can affect brain functions in retaining memories.
6. Drinking Wine Can Keep Depression At Bay
Depression is a serious disorder. It affects how you feel, think and handle everyday activities. This may sound contradictory, as most people know that alcohol consumption can worsen one’s depression or anxiety, but drinking a glass of wine per week can alter depressive patterns.
A seven-year study conducted by PREDIMED analyzed 5,500 individuals of light to moderate drinkers and found that individuals who drank two to seven glasses of wine in a week were less prone to depression than non-drinkers. Again, this is about drinking in moderation because on the same study those who drank heavy alcoholic beverages were more prone to depression. (7)
Key Takeaway: Enjoying two glasses of wine in a week may be your remedy against depression.
7. Drinking Wine Can Give You Healthier Skin
High levels of antioxidants in wine, when applied directly to the skin can inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria and are beneficial in maintaining a healthy skin. Antioxidants rejuvenate the skin, increase skin elasticity, keeping the skin bright and glowing.
In consuming wine as a drink, wine can stimulate blood circulation that can prevent wrinkle formation and skin aging. However, when one drinks in excess, it makes hormone flow lose its balance and may cause skin dehydration and aggravate chances of acne. (8)
Key Takeaway: Wine contains antioxidants and polyphenols that are essential to keeping the skin healthy.
8. Drinking Wine Reduces The Risk Of Fatty Liver Disease
There are two types of fatty liver disease, one is an alcoholic liver disease (ALD) which is characterized by excessive drinking and the other is a non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD) which cause is not clearly known but it has been associated with obesity. (9).
Nearly 12,000 individuals were studied and said to have NAFLD in the US and modest wine consumption has shown some benefit in reducing this disease. Drinkers who consume tolerable amounts of wine, as compared to those who do not drink at all, have reduced their risk to NAFLD in half.
Then again, modest beer or liquor drinkers have a greater probability of having NAFLD because alcohol is a known liver toxin. Antioxidants in wine help reduce damage in DNA cells, which could benefit damaged liver cells. (10)
Key Takeaway: Drinking wine in moderation can benefit the liver cells, preventing the risk of fatty liver disease.
9. Drinking Wine Can Help Prevent Obesity
There is a difference between being overweight and obese. Being overweight refers to an excess amount of body weight that may come from muscles, bone, fat and water. Obesity, on the other hand, refers to excessive amounts of body fat. Based on Global Health Observatory (GHO) data, at least 2.8 million people in the world die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. (11)
Wine, specifically white wine, contains epicatechin, quercetin, and resveratrol. These antioxidants can lower levels of cholesterol and may also support weight loss by burning belly fats and by decreasing inflammation commonly associated with obesity. (12)
Key Takeaway: White wine promotes weight loss by burning belly fat and by decreasing anti-inflammatory properties.
10. Wine Can Help Reduce The Risk Of Stroke
Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain has been blocked. Alcohol is well-established as one of the causes of stroke, on the other hand, wine has also been linked to stroke prevention because of its unique chemical composition. Resveratrol in red wine decreases inflammation that can contribute to brain injury caused by stroke.
Moreover, resveratrol in wine fights free radicals that are produced before, during and after stroke. These free radicals are harmful because they damage cells in the blood vessels, making the brain prone to bleeding and blockage.
The chemical reaction of resveratrol promotes the process neuro-protection, which protects the nerves and surrounding blood vessels from damage. (13)
Key Takeaway: Wine decreases inflammation that can cause blockage in the nerves which may lead to stroke.
11. Drinking Wine Helps Boost Your Body’s Defenses
Daily consumption of wine can boost the immune system according to researchers. Ethanol, the chemical component of alcoholic beverages and wine as well helps boost the potency of vaccinations. (14)
Drinking wine in moderation can help develop immunity that can fight over 200 viruses. Wine contains high levels of antioxidants in the form of flavonoids which can combat strongly against viruses. (15)
As proof, red wine can help cure the symptoms of flu and cold. The polyphenol resveratrol can prevent viruses from multiplying once they have entered the body’s system.
Key Takeaway: Daily consumption of wine, in moderation, helps boost the immune system as it contains a high level of antioxidants which fight against viruses.
12. Drinking Wine Strengthens The Bones
Past researchers have associated moderate wine drinking with improved bone density. As humans age, bones become thinner and weaker. New studies show that drinking wine in moderation may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is most common to women after they have reached the menopausal stage. Osteoporosis makes the bones brittle and more fragile with an increased susceptibility to bone fracture. (16)
One or two glasses of wine per day can protect women from thinning bones. It appears that modest consumption of wine bridges the imbalance between the dissolving old bone and poor production of new bone that can lead to osteoporosis in older women. (17)
Key Takeaway: Osteoporosis can be lessened through modest consumption of wine in older women.
13. Wine Can Protect Our Teeth Against Dental Plaque
Wine may help prevent dental cavities by inhibiting the growth of certain bacteria found in oral biofilm according to research conducted by the American Chemical Society. Wine can slow down the growth of bacteria that cause s cavities. (18)
Polyphenols, wine, and grape seed extract can slow down the growth of bacteria responsible for the formation of plaque and tooth decay. Though red wine can help reduce these bacteria optimal oral health still results from daily dental hygiene.
Brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist are still the best recommendations, but including wine into your diet can increase your defenses against dozens of possible teeth and gum diseases.
Key Takeaway: Wine can inhibit the growth of bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Nonetheless, a daily dental hygiene routine is still the best way to protect our teeth from decaying.
14. Drinking Wine Can Improve Our Eyesight
Ophthalmologist, Milind Pande, from Vision Surgery, says that the resveratrol which can be found in wine may be beneficial to the eyes. Resveratrol prevents age-related deteriorations of eye muscles. One of these age-related deteriorations is called Macular Degeneration.
Macular Degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss and is considered an incurable eye disease. This is the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, called the macula, which records the images we see.
The macula is the one responsible for your ability to read, recognize, and see objects in fine detail. Resveratrol which can be found in wine and grapes prevent the growth of blood vessels in the eyes that can lead to macular degeneration. (19)
Key Takeaway: Wine can prevent age-related deteriorations of eye muscles. So, say goodbye to carrots and drink up your wine for better eye health.
15. Wine Can Help Prevent Gallstones
The gallbladder is an organ located under the liver. It stores bile which is responsible for our body’s fat digestion. Although, gallbladder itself is not important and formation of gallstones may not actually be a problem. At times when gallstone is pushed out of the gallbladder, there’s a tendency that it might get stuck in the bile duct which can cause you a lot of pain. Gallstones are hard and have the same appearance as pebbles. (20)
Researchers have suggested that the moderate consumption of wine can prevent the formation of gallstones in the gallbladder. This was after they studied the dietary habits of 25, 639 patients for over 10 years, during which time 267 patients developed gallstones. Successful research showed that patients who consumed 175ml of wine per day decreased the chance of developing gallstones by thirty-two percent. (21)
Key Takeaway: To avoid future complications caused by gallstones, it is advised to consume 175ml of wine per day to decrease the chance of developing gallstones.
For 6 delicious wine-related recipes, please click here.
Wrapping It Up
Wines have been many things to us over the years and it has undergone numerous studies which have found various connections between improving the quality of life and its consumption. In ancient times, due to the scarcity of water, wine became an essential need in life rather than a luxury, so it came to symbolize sustenance and life.
Even in the earliest of times, wine has proven its worth when it comes to sustaining life. Up to now, there are still on-going research as to why wine is considered as one of the most powerful elixirs known to man.
However, anything in excess is bad for one’s life. The first thing to realize is that the dose matters. Many studies give the results in glasses per day or per week. Anyhow, saving the drinks up during the week to binge over the weekend has been shown to be associated with zero health benefits and is in fact associated the conditions linked to chronic, heavy alcohol abuse.
So pop some bottles in your fridge! Savor every sip and feel the velvety texture of your wine as you drink. Wine a bit and just a little bit more. Yet, always remember to drink moderately.