A few years ago a piece of research concluded that drinking red wine was good for us. The evidence was sparse but this did not stop many people using this as an excuse toe guzzle down more in the name of health.
A little later more research revealed that a compound in red wine called SRT1720 might have some health benefits. This has been combined with the Mediterranean diet (they all love red wine down in the med) that suggests the diet and lifestyle that is typical of people living in the Mediterranean area (a huge area with many vastly different cultures) is conducive to good health – and the further assumption that red wine is part of the health package.
Well, bad news for wine lovers. New research, that examined 800 red wine drinkers from the Chianti region of Italy (close to the Mediterranean) found that there is no evidence that it is in anyway healthy.
The researchers found no proof that red wine reduces heart disease or extends life. The study concluded that there is “no association between urinary resveratrol metabolites and longevity. This study suggests that dietary resveratrol from Western diets in community-dwelling older adults does not have a substantial influence on inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, or longevity.”
Alcohol can cause all manner of health problems and when drunk to excess actually raises risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke. Heavy drinking also leads to liver disease and weight gain. It really is not healthy.
And the compound Resveratrol, which is present in grape skin and was given to mice in the weight loss study, may not be of any health benefit either.
Eat fresh grapes, they a packed with vitamins and a great source of protein. You will gain any potential health benefit of consuming resveratrol (although there really appears to be none now) while avoiding the damage that alcohol can cause.
“Resveratrol in red wine, chocolate, grapes not associated with improved health” by Richard D. Semba, M.D., M.P.H.. JAMA Intern Med. Published online May 12, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.1582.