Is red wine really a cure all for everything that ails us? Well, maybe not everything, but it really does seem to have many proven health benefits, based upon clinical studies that have come out in recent years.
The very latest study is one that will be published in the journal Cancer Cell International. That study suggests that red wine can slow down the spread of lung cancer.
That study looked at red and white wine effects of 6 culture pallets that had millions of human lung cancer cells. The experiment was done four times to ensure it was not a fluke.
The study’s authors said that the plates that were treated with red wine showed a 60% inhibition of the cancer cells. This means that the wine seemed to reduce the growth rate of the cancer cells. The effect was stronger with red wines than white wines.
What else is red wine good for?
Some of the common pluses of red wine include:
It’s good for your heart. Studies indicate that a compound in these wines called resveratrol can work as an antioxidant in your body. This could lead to lower cholesterol levels and help to reduce heart vessel blockages. It also is thought that resveratrol has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antiviral and anti-aging properties.
It can cut your risk of prostate cancer. According to research in Harvard Men’s Health Watch, men who drink up to seven glasses of red wine per week are 50% as likely to get prostate cancer.
Drinking red wine can make you feel less depressed. It is thought that resveratrol could have neuroprotective properties.
Drinking red wine may add years to your life, even if you eat a lot. A 2006 Harvard study determined that mice eating a high calorie diet lived longer when they drank red wine.
The Mediterranean Diet, which is known as one of the best out there, has you drink one glass of red wine every night.
Red wine appears to harden tooth enamel. So, drinking a couple glasses of red wine daily seems to help to prevent tooth decay.
The French Paradox
The health information above shows that there might indeed be something to what is called the French Paradox. That is: Why is it that even with a diet heavy in saturated fats, such as cheeses, sauces and tasty croissants with butter, the French rate of obesity and heart disease is fairly low.
This fact has caused many researchers to wonder if there is a connection between heart health and red wine consumption. It is thought that this French connection shows that 1-2 glasses of red wine each day can cut your risk of heart disease, stroke and possibly diabetes. Some studies also show that drinking red wine can increase your good HDL cholesterol levels.
But experts claim that those cholesterol levels are just half of what helps to protect our hearts. Resveratrol seems to provide protection against blood flow problems in the brain, which could help wine to prevent strokes.
The French Paradox seems to be mostly due to the grape itself. Inside the grape are two antioxidants – the resveratrol in the skin and the proanthocyanidin in the seed. These antioxidants seem to be very effective in protecting our bodies against free radical damage, which often precedes major diseases, such as heart disease.
What Should You Drink? Opt for Dark Red!
If you do not like red wine, you also can drink white wine, but you want to be sure your white wine is high in antioxidants, such as tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol. The best white wine for heart health seems to be Chardonnay. But overall, dark red wines have the most resveratrol. The reason for this is that dark red wines have the thickest grape skins. So, if you want the best heart protection, you should choose Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinor Noir and Merlot.
If you do not like wine or do not like to drink alcohol, all hope is not lost! You also can drink purple grape juice, or even take a resveratrol supplement.
If you do choose to partake in red wine, remember: a serving of wine is a single glass, or five ounces. If you drink the whole bottle, you are not getting more benefit. Actually, drinking too much can lead to cancer, liver problems and other serious diseases. Moderation is very important. But if you keep it to 1 or 2 glasses per day, red wine really does seem able to extend your life.