In a world proliferated by magic pills and “discovered capsules,” (how exactly does one “discover” a capsule anyway?) it is easy to understand how we might overlook or forget several thousand years of human history as reference. Used by the Romans to prevent digestive disease and food-borne illnesses on the war-path, by the Chinese as a remedy for almost anything, the French for keeping thin and the Spanish as a potion for . . . endurance, there is one thing that can ward off many of your ills. What is this magical concoction standing the test of time through almost every people and nation on earth? It’s wine. More specifically for our purposes here, red wine.
Now I know what you’re thinking, Mr. Americana, there is no way anything as blasphemous and horrid as alcohol could be a part of a healthy lifestyle, I mean, it’s not like Jesus sang its praises or anything. And if it were, someone would have told you?like a commercial, Oprah, or Bill O’Reilly?you know, someone credible, right?
Given that the pharmaceutical thugs have no stake in the wine industry, and that they fund much of today’s medical research, the amount of serious study on the issue is considerable. In the last 20 years there have been hundreds of major studies on the topic all over the world. The problem is much of the information never makes it in an undiluted form to the general consumer. Most businesses would rather you not go chasing waterfalls, and just stick to the rivers and the lakes like you’re used to.
In Vino, Veritas?In wine, there is truth.
Let us review the facts in the Enofiles “No Spin Zone.”
The Americans and the French share similarly high-fat diets, smoking habits and unjustified arrogance, yet the French have drastically lower rates of cardiovascular disease and lung cancer. Why?
The issue that has come to be known as The French Paradox is one that researcher Serge Renaud has shed some light on. He found that wine consumed with a meal forced slower digestion and help prevent the absorption of fats. Drinking red wine with meals reduces LDL cholesterol oxidation by 20%, thereby reducing the risk of blood clotting as a result of fat consumption.
Wine consumed with food also reduces the proliferation of smooth muscle cells within the arteries. This
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slowing of SMC growth can help prevent heart attack and stroke. A 16-year Danish study found that people who had 1 – 2 drinks daily with a meal had a 32% lower risk of stroke.
Additionally, components in wine have been found to prevent cancer by causing cells to kill themselves via a process known as apoptosis. Five specific polyphenols found in red wine?gallic acid, tannic acid, morin, quercetin and rutin? have, in isolation, killed prostate cancer cells by encouraging cell suicide (I can imagine microscopic shouts of “Do it! Jump!”)
This prompted study in other forms of cancer, particularly lung cancer. Strangely, the leading study on the topic found the benefit was gender-specific.
Though, other studies and the FDA have confirmed drinking in excess greatly increases the risk of cancer.
Renaud concluded that people who drank 1 – 3 glasses of red wine daily had a 35% reduction of cardiovascular disease, an 18 – 24% reduction in cancer and a whopping 30% all-cause death reduction.
That’s right, drinking wine can reduce your risk of death in general by up to 30%.
A British study found that moderately drinking young adults were also less psychologically distressed or physically ill. Plus, wine enhances mitochondrial activity in brown adipose tissue and muscle?that means significantly greater energy and endurance . . .
Perhaps most interesting of all, however, is resveratrol’s anti-aging properties. In studies the compound has extended the life span of yeast cells up to 80%. The implications of this are beyond my medical knowledge.
There has been quiet gossip recently that high-altitude wines have a greater concentration of polyphenols, a consequence of the grapes’ natural defense to the more intense UV levels found at these higher altitudes. This is considered to increase the wines antioxidant properties, but has yet to be proven.
So basically what I’m saying is drink wine OR DIE!
Just kidding, it is really good though. Whether or not you subscribe to these claims is irrelevant, wine is about enjoyment, so this is not encouragement for a sterile, duteous approach to it, just a conscious one.