Who doesn’t love to sit down after a long day’s work and relax with a good glass of red? It seems like every day there is a new study or article praising wine as the miracle elixir of health. However, for every piece of research praising the sultry libation, there is another discounting the claims. The constant back and forth, like most findings in health, is confusing to the average consumer looking for applicable solutions. Therefore, to ease the burden, this article aims to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding wine and health.
Wine and Burning Fat
Many wine enthusiasts praise and permit their habit as a way to combat weight gain. The argument is often based on the findings of a 2015 Oregon State University study that linked a specific wine acid to weight loss. The wine in question was a rare red wine, and the acid is only produced by the Red Muscadine grape, grown in the southeastern US state of Georgia, mostly. However, while the particular acid from that single grape species can possibly promote weight loss, it is typically only used in sweet wine, negating most weight loss benefits. The research is promising, and with further study might will out broader benefits, but don’t base your entire weight loss journey on a daily glass of wine.
Wine and Heart Health
Another study shows potential promise for heart health. While the European Society of Cardiology conducted a study in 2014 to find a link between wine consumption and the production of good cholesterol, the findings initially seemed discouraging. The study proved no direct correlation between wine consumption and the production of HDL. However, within the study and upon closer inspection of the results, researchers noted that individuals who drank wine and worked out at least twice weekly showed signs of increased HDL and decreased LDL or bad cholesterol. Unfortunately, as testing the correlation of exercise with wine consumption was not the intent of the initial study, more research is needed.
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Wine and Cancer
Like weight loss, more research is needed to determine the cancer-fighting properties of wine. While most wines contain several antioxidants, the primary compound known for its anti-carcinogenic properties is ellagic acid. Unfortunately, EA is not found in most wines because it is only found in red muscadine grapes. A study conducted in the Journal of Cancer Biology and Medicine did discuss EA as a preventative and therapeutic tool against specific forms of cancer. However, because of the limited supply of wines and grapes with EA, it is unclear the overall advantages of wine consumption in the fight against cancer.
Wine and Blood Pressure
If you want a solution to your blood pressure or hypertension woes, do not drink a glass of red wine. While touted as a tool to lower blood pressure for nearly three decades, it is a myth that wine can correct blood pressure problems, at least when containing alcohol. A recent study of the effects of red wine on blood pressure found that non-alcoholic red didi significantly reduce blood pressure levels in men.
The bottom line is that wine can provide some health benefits in moderation, but most of the drink's so-called miracle benefits are myth or without significant merit. If you like wine, drink it in moderation, but if you don't, leave it. Wine is not a miracle cure for weight loss or disease, but it is delicious, at least to this writer.
What are your thoughts on the great wine debate? Leave a comment and keep this conversation going.