Wine and your Heart: News from Across the Pond

For many years now, Americans’ love for wine (red wine, in particular) has continually grown. Much of the hoopla stems from an early 1990’s report that touted the health benefits of resveratrol, in which research suggested that the regular consumption of cheese and red wine was at the heart of the French’s lower rates of heart disease. Well, couple that bit of good news with the rich, bold flavors of red wine and all bets could very well be off! According to recent studies, there may be a good reason to rethink your drink.

Wine, A Journey Through Time

Long, long ago, the wine was medicinal. Combined with ingredients like pine resin and sage, concoctions were used by ancient Egyptians to treat a myriad of ailments, including the good old stomach ache.

Hippocrates got in on the love-of-wine action back in 500BC, encouraging citizens to make this beverage a part of their healthy diet.

For hundreds of years into the AD era, scientists remained staunch in their support of wine-drinking. At that time, the wine was a cleaner alternative to water due to the challenges in creating clean drinking water. That being said, there were times during which a woman could be put to death were she caught with a glass.

Throughout history, the love-fest between humans and their wine has remained high, even in light of conflicting evidence as to the value of vino as a natural beverage. Some studies in the early 90s indicated that the resveratrol in wine could increase the lifespan of the average male, and even help mice walk better on a balance beam (as if we needed to know this!). On the other hand, some studies have suggested that a healthy middle-aged woman benefits tiny from resveratrol, nor does it harm her health. Furthermore, there is some evidence that the consumption of alcoholic beverages increases a person’s risk for cancer.

Which Way Do You Go?

Because science has yet to fully identify whether or not the risks of wine-drinking outweigh benefits, common sense must rule. It can be difficult for the wine-lover to cut back, but this is what makes the most sense. A small, 5-ounce glass a day is what most experts recommend. In a 2014 study, even light drinkers were said to benefit from reduced consumption.

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