Updated: Sep 6, 2020
Wine, wine, everywhere there’s wine…
So I keep hearing all these health benefits of red wine, but why. Is it the ingredients? Or what about the physical implications? Mental health—think COVID pandemic with school aged children and full time job (no, I cannot relate)?
What if I say, all of the above.
Let’s start with the science. One word--RESVERATROL
Red wine is made from crushed grapes--the whole grape. Stem, seed, and peel, which is where the resveratrol is located. Resveratrol is a natural phenol having shown to possess antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antitumor and estrogenic/antiestrogenic activity. Sources of resveratrol in food include the skin of grapes, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, and peanuts.
Now onto physical implications.
Resveratrol has been linked to lowering your LDL while raising your HDL. Which, if you remember, that HDL is cardioprotective and that LDL is the bad cholesterol that assists in laying down the plaques in the arteries. Which could lead to decreased cardiovascular flow, increased plaques, higher risk for heart attack and stroke.
There have also been studies that may show a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s from drinking red wine, which is thought to be linked to the resveratrol.
Usually when you drink, you are doing it with other people. Friends, family, etc. One of the tenets of long life in the blue zone, is socialization. So is it the physical health benefits or the mental health benefits—I would argue, the two are so interconnected that they cannot be separated. So my thought is—who cares, just drink more red wine!
Though, there is some caution in recommending drinking red wine to better your health. If you already drink the stuff, then we know you are reaping some benefits. But recommending alcohol as a medical treatment can lead to a whole other set of issues. So, this is not me saying, DRINK WINE TO BETTER YOUR HEALTH. But it is me saying, IF YOU DRINK RED WINE, YOU MAY BE BETTERING YOUR HEALTH.
Side note: What about the white stuff—it is from grapes too. Though, white wine does not have any of the stem, seed or skin, which is where the resveratrol is located. So unfortunately you do not get the physical health benefits from white like you do from red. Though if the mental health is what you are banking on for longevity, then have a glass, or two, preferably with a friend!
…until next time, #IrishDoc07