Does A Glass of Wine A Day Keep the Doctor Away?

After a long day of work, my mother would always sit down with a glass of wine to wind down from the day. She said it relaxed and soothed her from any stress she carried home from work. She claims red wine, in moderation, actually has health benefits, contrary to the knowledge that alcohol is bad for your body. So what health benefits does wine really have, if any? Why do I only hear that red wine specifically has health benefits, but not white or rosé? Does a glass of red wine a day keep the doctor away?

Red wine contains something called resveratrol that is heart-healthy and protects against blood clots. Red wine also contains antioxidants that help in preventing heart disease. Red wine can help protect against build up in arteries by containing “good” cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Polyphenol, which is a type of antioxidant, can help protect the blood vessels in the heart.

xenlife.com

xenlife.com

A source at the Mayo Clinic argues, “Red wine seems to have even more heart-healthy benefits than do other types of alcohol, but it’s possible that red wine isn’t any better than beer, white wine or liquor for heart health. There’s still no clear evidence that red wine is better than other forms of alcohol when it comes to possible heart-healthy benefits.” Although, we do not know how truly reliable this source is due to the fact that there is no author, just “The Mayo Clinic Staff.” However, a study was conducted by the writers of this article, which help to prove the alternative hypothesis, which is that red wine in moderation has health benefits while the null hypothesis is that drinking red wine in moderation does not have health benefits, and has no effect.

The study was conducted mostly on animals, not humans. When resveratrol, which is found in red wine, was tested on mice, it showed that the mice were more protected against obesity and diabetes. When the study was performed on pigs, the pigs showed improvement in heart function. For a human to obtain the same amount of resveratrol that was injected into these animals, they would need to drink more than 1,000 liters of wine a day, which would cause more health problems than helping the heart problems. This is an experimental study performed on the animals, which gives more factual evidence than a correlational study. The study was well conducted because there were proper controls. The control groups were the mice and pigs who were not injected with resveratrol. I believe this study makes a correct conclusion that resveratrol, which one can obtain from drinking red wine, has health benefits. This is either a correct conclusion or a false positive. The problem is that a person would need large amounts of resveratrol for it to make a lasting difference in heart health, and drinking wine in large quantities is unhealthy.

Medical News Today claims that red wine in moderation can actually help you live a longer life, protect against certain cancers such as colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer, and improve mental health as well as heart health. Red wine can also act as an anti-depression. Scientists found that both men and women who drank seven glasses of red wine per week were less likely to be diagnosed with depression. Looks like these are all good cases for having a glass of wine!

wineandbeerwalk.com

wineandbeerwalk.com

Of course, too much of anything is bad, and doctors are wary of telling anyone to drink more alcohol, despite these health benefits. One glass of wine is considered 1.5 ounces or 44 mL. People under the age of 25 should really drink in moderation, considering the brain is not fully developed until around the age of 25, so consuming too much alcohol can me detrimental to proper brain development. People who drink red wine in moderation seem to have a lower risk of heart disease. If you go overboard on the alcohol, worse things than heart disease can happen, like liver disease and high blood pressure, and drinking red wine should not be one’s only way of attempting to prevent heart disease. Exercise and a healthy diet always come first.

But what about white wine? Why is white wine, or rosé for that matter, never mentioned? Well, resveratrol is found in the skin of grapes, which is used to make the wine. Red wine is fermented for a longer time than white wine is, hence the lesser amount of resveratrol, and also the lesser health benefits. Also, white wine tends to contain more sugar than red wine does, which is not as healthy, when focusing on the health benefits of wine.

So what can you do to get the health benefits of resveratrol without drinking the alcohol? Eating grapes has shown to provide the health benefits of resveratrol without having to drink the alcohol along with it, especially if you’re underage or not a fan or red wine. Heart disease is more prominent in older folks anyways, the people who are able to drink red wine on the daily.

winefolly.com

winefolly.com

10 thoughts on “Does A Glass of Wine A Day Keep the Doctor Away?

  1. Hannah Rose Papa

    This post was very interesting to me since like many have said that people always relate alcohol in such a negative way. My mom grew up in a very Italian family and at dinner, they always had a glass of wine. It’s interesting to me that although wine can be beneficial to our hearts, research is now showing a correlation that wine can help with something so common as in having a cold. People who drank wine were seen to have 40% less chance of getting a cold. Although working out helps prevents the cold for 24 hours, some may need the addition of a little wine in their life.

  2. Amanda Taina Quinones

    I found this post to be very interesting. The word alcohol often has many negative associations, so it was nice to read something positive for a change. Plus, who doesn’t love a nice glass of red wine. Thinking about the cynical and dangerous association with alcohol got me thinking. I am told it is bad for me so frequently but thinking about it now I am not specifically sure why. Besides being underage, what is so bad about alcohol consumption after all? Why is there even an age limit? On the opposite end of what your blog discusses I decided to expand some points made about moderation. As a college student reading through the Alcohols Effects on the Body article by the national institute on alcohol abuse and alcoholism, was frightening. The article shows that short term and long term effects include sever impairments to the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, cancer, and immune system. While the effect of a weakening immune system or deteriorating liver is not shocking to hear, increase risk of cancer and future brain impairment certainly is. The article discusses a change in mood, problems with thinking, and coordination. I wonder if this brain impairment could expand to things such as dementia or alzheimer disease. It is sad that something a lot of us value so much as college students could impact us so negatively in the future, but some of us (not all) decide to take the risk for the sake of the now.

  3. Daniel P Schuhl

    I had always heard that a glass of red wine with dinner had health benefits, but I always thought it was just something the news station would do a bit on to fill up time. Now I know that there are real scientific reasons for it being healthy. Also, I like how you mention that alcohol should be consumed in moderation and this is not an excuse to abuse it.

  4. Isabelle Torhus

    The fact that red wine is an anti-depressant really stuck out to me, because we are taught that alcohol is a depressant, slowing down our central nervous system and causing a decrease in reaction time, coordination, and intellectual performance. So, to see red wine as a unique alcohol that actually can benefit a person seemed interesting. You connected that to the fact that it contains resveratrol, a phytonutrient found in various berries and most importantly grapes. I was able to find a study done that connected the reason why resveratrol could act as an antidepressant. It concluded that the effect of the resveratrol is related to serotonergic and noradrenergic activation. These effect the nervous system. In the study, all of the tests are performed on mice, which makes me wonder if these results can be proven with complete certainty. I am also wondering if there can be a confounding variable in this test, for example, something in a mouses body that could cause them to process resveratrol differently than humans. Here is a link to the study: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924977X10000465

  5. Colleen Byrne

    My grandma drinks a glass of wine every night too because of the health benefits (and, obviously, the taste). Your post was very interesting to read as you didn’t only focus on the possible health benefits of red wine, but why red wine seems to be cited as being healthy rather than other types of alcohol. It would be interesting to see if any of the studies accounted for gender or age as a third variable- does red wine provide more benefits as you grow older, is it more helpful when you’re younger, and does it affect males and females differently? Overall, I really enjoyed your post.

  6. Martin Anthony Lazzaro

    Claire, I have a family friend who is a neurosurgeon and wrote an entire book on living longer. In it he talks extensively about the benefits of red wine and its polyphenols that you have talked about in your blog. I thought you did a great job informing us of findings. I wanted to link you to Dr. Maroon’s website where you can explore his books and informational videos. If this is something that interests you, I recommend the book. It is very interesting and provides all sorts of other suggestions for living longer and healthier.

  7. Colby Kranz

    Very interesting post– I like how you pointed out the credibility of your sources and were able to draw conclusions on your own from there. I also like how you compared red to white wine– very interesting that the two could differ so greatly in health content considering they come from similar sources. Also- It’s important to realize that correlation does not prove causation, meaning just because you drink red wine, you won’t develop heart disease. As you pointed out, too much of anything can be rather damaging to ones overall health. Anyways, really interesting post especially because it is one of the most controversial and popular topics in today’s world.

  8. Holly Rubin

    Part of me would think that even though wine is alcohol, it would still have some health benefits since it contains grapes. As you said in your blog, red wine has health benefits that protect against blood clots, heart disease. bad cholesterol, and more. In addition, after doing some research I found that red wine decreases the likeliness that you will develop type two diabetes. This conclusion was made after a 10-year study by Harvard Medical School. With all of these benefits, I still wonder how much is too much?

  9. Martin Anthony Lazzaro

    Claire, I have a family friend who is a neurosurgeon and wrote an entire book on living longer. In it he talks extensively about the benefits of red wine and its polyphenols that you have talked about in your blog. I thought you did a great job informing us of findings. I wanted to link you to Dr. Maroon’s website where you can explore his books and informational videos. If this is something that interests you, I recommend the book. It is very interesting and provides all sorts of other suggestions for living longer and healthier.

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