For a couple of days now, I have been reading some articles regarding alcohol and its effect on our health. I have read that overall, alcohol is bad for you, however, it is possible being able to enjoy a bit of alcohol from time to time but without harming your health, the most valuable good we should always aim to behold, in the long run. Of course, since wine maintains a certain alcohol content, depending to the grape variety, fermentation process and final product, same applies for our beloved wine!
Cheer up, though, people! There is a way to both maintain a balance between of good state of health and still express your love in drinking a couple of glasses of your favorite wine. Moderate drinking is the key! Keep your balance and you will be fine! Balance! Balance! Balance! A most loving keyword I borrowed from my favorite yoga instructor, Mandy Ingber! (By the way, her book Yogalosophy is amazing and it works miracles!)
Ok, my mouth ran away with me, again! So, let’s get back to our critical point, the effects of wine in our health and how to keep balance, of course! Although moderate drinking of wine is your answer (don’t stop reading now, there is more to it), how about we specify first what moderate is considered to be and check a bit on how does wine affect your body on the whole.
We are going to examine 4 basic aspects of wine and health:
- Wine and Heart Diseases
- Wine, Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Wine and Depression
- Wine and Cancer
Eventually, you will see if moderate wine drinking is your own personal answer to not alleviating wine from your life in order to maintain a good health. But first things first!
What is Moderate Drinking?
Moderate drinking is the average quantity of wine you should have within a week or on a daily basis. This usually comes up to a glass of wine (5 oz in fluid, in relevance to US metrics and a bit less than 150ml) for women daily and 2 glasses for men, according to some experts’. The ratio derives from the fact that women, due to their lower body content they tend to absorb alcohol more quickly than men.
However, moderate wine drinking range tends to alternate according to the age, weight, genetic factors, body status, etc. of every individual, and of course according to the occasion during which an individual chooses to drink. Is wine consumption accompanied by a meal, for instance, or is it drunk on its own?
Therefore, as might have understood, you have to be really careful with the proportions of wine you drink, and you have to always, always keep in mind, that every person is different in different levels of health, exercise, and another bunch of current conditions that determine what moderate drinking stands for the individual at that the moment of drinking wine.
So, one glass of wine for women per day and two glasses for men tops! Keep your own pace and adjust to the lowest quantity if needed. By the way, if you do not drink the relevant glass that is allowed within the day for you, it doesn’t mean you can add it up to the next!Be reasonable! Enjoying your love for wine is what you aim for but within terms of reason and as long as it doesn’t harm your No1 priority: Your Health!
Now Let’s get started!
Wine Reduces and Prevents Heart Rate Diseases
While excessive and heavy drinking is harmful to your heart and sets yourself in great danger, moderate wine drinking has been actually connected with the reduction of heart diseases. You see, according to studies, it is supposed to bring the “good” cholesterol (HDL – high-density lipoprotein) and the “bad” cholesterol (LDL – low-density lipoprotein) into a balance. Moderate wine drinking also prevents LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, from blocking the arteries of the heart and keeping it low and therefore, reduce heart attacks. We have the natural antioxidants that exist in wine to “blame for” as well as a substance called resveratrol one can find in red wine.
As far as the balance between LDL and HDL and the reduction of LDL are concerned, we have the natural antioxidants that exist in wine to “blame for” above benefit potential of wine on people. It seems that a substance known as resveratrol, one can find in the leaves of grape vines and grape skins, is responsible, along with other substances, for the above health benefit of wine, although not yet proven. What it is a fact, though, is that resveratrol is present in all grape varieties, however, due to climate conditions and fermentation processes, it is only understandable that not the same quantity of it can be found in every grape variety. Red wine usually contains a lot more of this phenolic compound and that is due to the fermentation process, of course. Can you guess why? Well for the all well-known grape skins and juice stay more in contact for the red color of the wine to emerge.
Overall, doctors do seem to recognize that moderate wine drinking can have a long-term beneficial effect on health and resveratrol seems to be connected with that fact.
By all means, keep one thing in mind!It does not mean in any kind of way that non-drinkers should start drinking wine.
Wine Prevents Alzheimer’s and Dementia
It is not implied in any way that wine can cure Alzheimer’s, Dementia or any other already existing mental illnesses. And definitely, no implication that heavy drinking can cause a lot of problems among which depression and alcohol-related dementia (ARD).
However, according to scientists and researchers, there seems to be a positive correlation between moderate wine drinking and preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia for individuals who are mentally healthy. Of course, environmental and lifestyle standards, such as a healthy diet, exercise, etc. are also important parts of the equation.
So, back to the point. This positive relation between wine and the prevention of dementia seems to be due to this little substance called resveratrol, we talked about a bit earlier and I am going to explain right away. You see, it seems that moderate alcohol consumption, amongst other factors, promotes the production of HDL, the “good cholesterol”, which in turn, prevents the blood platelets from sticking to each other. Is it me or was HDL mentioned earlier along with resveratrol, the substance found in wine? Rings any bell? Well, there you go, that is your explanation.
Again nothing has been established since a lot of researches have taken place and there are more to go, on this matter, however, these “early” assumptions look very promising for the field of wine and mental health. I will say it again! What we are talking about is moderate wine consumption and not drinking 2 bottles a day!
Moderate Wine Drinking Keeps Your Spirit UP and Depression Down
According to Medical News Today, a research published on BMC Medicine, showed that moderate wine drinking can, after all, reduce the risk of depression. More specifically, it was found that “two to seven small glasses a week” could lower the possibility of a depression occurrence. It was also noted that no matter of lifestyle conditions, like diet, exercise or smoking, etc. seemed not to be associated with the fact in any way.
Of course in case, of heavy drinking, the results are completely the opposite so be aware and be conscious.
Does Wine Cause or Prevent Cancer?
Now this is probably one of the most important sections of this post.
It is a fact that alcohol, in general, is considered to belong in the Carcinogen Group No1! There have, however, been studies over the years that show and state that moderate wine drinking can help prevent some forms of cancer while wine as an alcoholic substance can cause or contribute to the appearance of other cancer forms. What is true though? Does it prevent breast cancer or increases the chances of it? Does it prevent liver, colon cancer or does it contribute to its formation?
Studies keep coming every year and each and every time, a little piece of information comes out that overrules previous theories and standards. What does remain a fact though is that alcohol belongs to the Carcinogen Group No1 and it is undoubted until now. Wine does include alcohol and therefore, we should always consider it as it is, an alcoholic beverage.
Always stay tuned and keep looking for data that will help decide on what source is the most reliable, as research studies come and go and new information seem to always appear about the alcohol-cancer association!
This is completely my opinion on the matter and so I will try to keep it short. Wine consumption should always be kept to a minimum as all alcoholic beverages should be. Since its association with certain types of cancer is relatively fuzzy, moderate drinking is the answer, in order for it not to cause harm, short-term or long-term. Lifestyle choices are also a good way to establish our well-being apart from enjoying ourselves.
Generally, as far as wine consumption is concerned, if you come to think of it, it makes perfect sense. When you are drinking a glass of wine you see that you get to feel more comfortable, more at ease, you get to have fun and generally a good time. However, in case, you overdo it, you get a headache, you love perception and you become tipsy, you lose your eloquence, become drunk and wake up with a terrible headache and an awful mouthfeel, a not so great experience called hungover.
Moderate wine drinking helps you keep balance between your love for wine and your love for health (if not already, health should become one of your greatest loves, if not the greatest one). So keep balance on how much you are drinking and you will be fine! In my case drinking wine is my thing but only as long as it does not harm me, so I keep a moderate wine drinking habit.
A List to Remember
- One glass of wine for women and two glasses of wine for men, 5 oz per glass in US metrics, is considered as moderate wine drinking from experts.
- Women absorb alcohol more quickly than men due to their lower body content.
- Moderate wine drinking can prevent and reduce heart disease rate.
- Resveratrol keeps the HDL, the “good cholesterol” and LDL, “bad cholesterol” into balance and prevents the LDL from blocking the arteries of the heart.
- Resveratrol is a natural antioxidant found in the leaves of grape vines and grape skins and although present in all wines, red wines have a higher quantity of it.
- Moderate wine consumption seems to have beneficial potential as far as Alzheimer’s and dementia risk are concerned, given that the individuals are mentally healthy. Moderate drinking does not cure those diseases.
- Moderate wine drinking can prevent depression while excessive wine drinking increases the risk of it.
- Can wine prevent or cause cancer? Many different studies on the issue with only a common basis: Alcohol belongs to the No1 Carcinogen Group. Other than that keep educating yourselves through previous and upcoming studies on this matter.
- Last but not least: By no means, should non-drinkers start drinking wine, in order to establish prevention of all the above, even if it is in a moderate rate!
Most of the times, my moderate ratio is even less than what experts refer to as moderate wine drinking. Keep yours on track and take into consideration your previous – current – and future wanna-be health status. Help yourself maintain your love for wine without affecting your health in a bad way!
Ok, that was a heavy one but honestly, an absolute must if you truly love wine!
What is your moderate wine drinking ratio and do you think I should have included something further? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments…I would be happy to discuss it with you…