The World of Wine – April 2009

The World of Wine

By Ceci Rodriguez

Wine and Health


Luis Pasteur once said, “The wine is the most hygienic of the beverages” but besides that, wine has lots of healthy properties. This is why doctors in many countries are suggesting their patients drink one glass of red wine every day.

Chemical and food experts have known for years that wine contains rich deposits of vitamins, like the ones of the B group, minerals, and natural sugars, that are often beneficial to a state of good health. Wine is also rich in Potassium and low in Sodium. Red wines have more of these elements due to the fact that the juice remains in contact with the skin and seeds of the grape for a longer period of time.

The most important health benefit is that wine has digestive qualities due to its acidity being very similar to our gastric acids. This acidity is ideal for the digestion of proteins and it has a bactericide effect. Added to these virtues, wine has aperitif properties.

The ethanol contained in the wine increases the HDL (high density cholesterol) or good cholesterol and reduces the LDL (low density cholesterol) or bad cholesterol. The result of this can reduce cardio diseases by as much as 50%, if you are a wine drinker. Glycerol, another component of the wine, reduces by sterification the quantity of fatty acids that are in the blood which are responsible for glucose intolerance.

Heart attacks happen when platelets close damaged arteries (specifically the coronary blood vessels), creating an obstruction that effects circulation. In wine, there is a phenolic component called resveratrol that prevents the platelets formation. This is called “The French Paradox” which means that in France, despite being a country that consumes a lot of dairy meals and is not noted for its affinity for exercise, the mortality rate from heart disease is the lowest in any Occidental country. This can be attributed to a moderate consumption of wine.

Wine contains alcohol, which acts as a blood thinner, and can be beneficial in the treatment of various heart problems. Also, there are four polyphenols that have antioxidant properties, these are the resveratrol, catequin, quercetin and epicatequin. These prevent the oxidation of fat in the blood and reduce its toxicity; they also reduce arteriosclerosis problems.

A moderate consumption of wine can help in conditions such as obesity or hypertension by reducing stress and anxiety in the body. Wine is being used with anorexia problems as well. It also helps to make one’s bones strong, and helps in cases of kidney cancer, and diabetes type 2 (that is the one that usually develops with age), and many more illnesses.

As the wine revolution gains more strength, further studies are being performed, and we will undoubtedly discover even more about the medicinal qualities of wine. These benefits should be considered preventative rather than curative. Moderate consumption of wine is the golden rule for attaining these, as well as many other, health benefits.

If it is a pleasure to drink wine, it will become doubly so with the awareness that it is also good for maintaining good health.

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