We have been making wine out of fermented grapes for centuries now, and in one survey done in 2014, Americans alone consumed about 893 million gallons of wine. Over the past few years, there have been numerous studies done that have shed light on drinking wine and the health benefits (with moderation), specifically when it comes to drinking one glass of red wine a night (one glass is approximately 5 ounces of wine).
To start, red wine is full of antioxidants. These antioxidants that are specifically in red wine, can work together to protect cells as well as defend one’s body against toxics and prevent cancer and other diseases. In a study done by the American Heart Association, the relationship between one’s heart and their red wine consumption was measured. While any type of alcohol (1 to 2 servings a day) has been seen to benefit us, red wine in particular has been thought to have additional benefits.
Atherosclerosis is a disease that is due to a build up of plaque inside one’s arteries, which results in severe problems because blood cannot reach your organs. The disease can result in a stroke or heart attack, or in the worst case, death. Red wine was believed to protect someone from this disease. In order to test this, the Copenhagen City Heart Study was put into place. A total of 13,825 men and women were watched for 12 years in order to monitor their alcohol consumption and then as a result, see what effects their consumption had on their health.
In this case:
X-variable: Alcohol consumption (amount in ounces)
Y-variable: How healthy they are
Third confounding variables: What type of alcohol it is
The people in the study who drank wine, rather than liquor or beer, as a result were in a much better position when it came to their heart health. They had half of the risk of dying from something like heart disease compared to those who didn’t drink wine.
To take this study further to look at red wine in particular, 13 studies (a total of 209,418 people) were compared. With the consumption of red wine, came a 32% risk reduction to getting the atherosclerotic disease. What wine is made up of seems to be the main reason for why it is so beneficial. It has also been know to increase “good” cholesterol in one’s body which can clear out material what has the potential to clog arteries.
Like everything, there is always a down side to a glass day. While it helps protect one’s cells from the majority of cancers, it has been said to increase the risk of breast cancer. So then the next question becomes: should I start to drink a glass of day if I’m not already? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that you don’t. They argue that you shouldn’t go changing your routine just because of possible health benefits. On the contrary, in a study done by Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, results showed that people who drink regularly live longer than people who steer clear of alcohol. The majority of studies I read while researching this topic agreed with this study – in favor of 1-2 glasses a night.