You may have heard one time or another that “drinking red wine is good for your heart.” If this is the case, a healthy heart would mean a longer life right? Many biblical stories, movies, and tv shows support the notion that drinking red wine is harmless and possibly advantageous. To imagine (even as college students) that we can get a buzz and live longer because of it is a discovery that will have people running for the liquor stores with no remorse, and its one we’ve probably kept in mind sip by sip.
A study conducted in Denmark observed over 13,000 participants between the ages of 30 and 70 over a 12-year period. The results of this study showed a 49% decrease in risk of death over that 12 year span of participants who drank 3-5 glasses of wine per day. Beer and other spirits were examined as well showing an increase in risk of death over that span. I question the validity of this study because of the large pool and age of participants. If a 30 year old in the study died I wouldn’t suspect drinking more red wine would have prevented that. Similarly, some of the older participants could have passed simply of old age or other confounding variables. Regardless, if the study was done correctly it may be able to draw one if its major conclusions, which is that red wine decreases your risk of heart disease.
The American Heart Association on the other hand is not as confident in these findings. Upon the look of their webpage on Alcohol and Heart Health the American Heart Association contends that the correlations found in studies conducted on wine and heart health could be due to confounding variables. Variables such as regular exercise and a healthier diet could be the cause of the decrease in heart disease. Furthermore the AMA does get an expert opinion from Prakash Deedwania, the chief of the cardiology division and professor of medicine at the University of California who believes that drinking wine lowers your cholesterol which in effect helps your heart.
It seems that the age old saying does stand, drinking wine may more likely than not be good for your heart. I don’t think any of us would object to a couple glasses of wine in exchange for additional years of life. Without studies that debate this topic to prove differently it seems we can keep on sipping.