5 Ways Wine Interacts With Your Health

Wine Interacts With Your Health

There’s nothing more relaxing than capping your night off with a glass of good wine. Whether red or white, rose, sparkling, or dessert wine—take your pick, but drink in moderation. Lets know the ways how wine interacts with your health:-

The medically-astute Ancient Greeks and Egyptians, especially those belonging to the clergy or the elite, were said to have enjoyed wine for health and medicinal reasons, some thousands of years ago. 

Recent researches suggest that they may not be wrong. Based on a few studies, high levels of antioxidants found in your favorite vino may impact your health in positive ways.      

Sipping your favorite alcohol may provide you with more than just a restful sleep. When taken regularly in one or two glasses, healthful compounds in your reds and whites may help reduce the risk of heart and blood pressure problems.   

So, get ready to raise your glass and take a few sips of your favorite Cabernet, Pinot, or Chardonnay.      

1. A Glass Of Wine May Help Diversify Gut Bacteria

Research suggests that taking wine can help diversify the microbiomes found in the gut, potentially leading to better health. A healthy gut microbiome, which requires higher levels of probiotics or good bacteria, may impact essential bodily processes such as immune function, weight loss, and mental health.   

In more concrete terms, the polyphenols abundantly found in wine may help prevent and possibly ease health conditions such as obesity, cancer, and inflammatory diseases, among other illnesses.   

Studies, however, are lacking with regards to the specific relationship between polyphenols and gut microbiota. Hence, further research is needed to establish more specific health claims.  

2. A Glass Of Wine May Help Lower Bad Cholesterol Levels 

A study in the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain suggests that the red grapes used in making red wine varieties may have a positive impact on cholesterol levels. 

The results of the study showed that participants who took the same supplements found in red wine experienced a drop in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) by 9%. LDL is also known as bad cholesterol; it promotes build-up and blockage in the arteries, causing a spike in blood pressure and increasing vulnerability to heart disease. 

More importantly, sipping wine also resulted in higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), otherwise known as good cholesterol, as they combat the effects of LDL. This is one of the main findings of a study about wine published in April 2013 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

3. A Glass Of Wine May Help Prevent Diabetes

Generally speaking, wine is safe for persons with diabetes, as long as it’s taken in moderation. Reds and whites contain low levels of sugar. As such, it’s not known to increase glucose levels, which is crucial in patients with blood sugar issues. On the contrary, a nightly glass of wine may even decrease blood glucose levels for up to 24 hours, based on research funded by the American Diabetes Association.

Apart from its assumed preventive properties, drinking wine in moderation may also help ease its complications. Individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes are at higher risk for heart disease, but a healthier lifestyle complemented with regular wine intake may keep diabetes from worsening. 

A diabetes.org article quoting a study from the Annals of Internal Medicine indicated that taking red wine may help reduce the chances of developing heart diseases such as stroke, heart attack, and peripheral arterial disease among type 2 diabetes sufferers. This two-year study followed participants who were switched to a Mediterranean diet and were separated based on the fluids they took: water, white wine, and red wine. Overall, wine drinkers experienced elevated good cholesterol levels and better sleep compared to non-wine drinkers.    

4. A Glass Of Wine May Protect And Promote Heart Health  

Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, a glass or two of wine may help protect the heart’s blood vessel lining and prevent blood clots. One healthful compound found in wine is called resveratrol, and it’s thought to have beneficial properties that promote heart health. 

Apart from preventing blockages and bad cholesterol build-up, resveratrol may help lower the risk of inflammation. Scientists suggest that heart diseases are mainly driven by chronic inflammation in the body. Hence, when discussing heart health and prevention of cardiovascular diseases, it’s important to address inflammation too, which can be avoided by maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, moderate wine drinking included. 

5. A Glass Of Wine May Shield You From Dementia And Alzheimer’s Disease

As with drinking any type of alcoholic beverage, you’ll get tipsy and feel a bit buzzed after taking a glass or two of wine. In the short term, you may think that drinking wine may have brain-altering effects. Fortunately, though, a few sips of your favorite natural grape drink may help protect your brain from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive problems in the long run. 

Based on a 2011 study, Merlot red wine may have neuroprotective properties because of the substantial levels of polyphenols it contains. These compounds are said to help prevent inflammation, which in turn leads to a host of health benefits, especially in protecting your internal organs. Of these healthful compounds, quercetin and procyanidins were found to have the highest neuroprotective properties.

In addition, a large-scale review done by Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine discovered that moderate alcohol drinkers were 23% less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease and other signs of memory loss as compared to non-drinkers. 

The Downsides

Despite the purported health benefits mentioned earlier, sipping wine does have its negative effects. For instance, it’s common for drinkers to experience headaches, in part due to its sulfite content. Sulfites are classified as a food preservative and are used extensively in wine-making. Advances in processing, however, have made wine preservation possible with minimal use of these chemicals. To know more about sulfites, its uses, and effects, check this out.

Are You Drinking Too Much Wine? 

Based on standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), moderate alcohol intake refers to one drink for women and two drinks for men on a daily basis. In the US, a standard drink has an average of 14 grams of alcohol content.  

 In this vein, moderate drinking refers to 5 ounces of wine containing a total of 12% alcohol; 12 ounces of beer with 5% alcohol content, or 1.5 ounces of other stronger alcoholic beverages such as vodka.  

Final Thoughts 

As you may have guessed, the key to enjoying these health benefits is taking your favorite Pinot Noir in moderation. Too much wine or alcohol intake can increase the risk of developing serious diseases dramatically. For instance, while studies have also shown that although wine may have neuroprotective properties, heavy drinkers were at a higher risk of developing memory problems such as dementia. 

So, go ahead and raise your glass, but take heed of the advice from health experts: always drink moderately.