There has always been somewhat of a debate about red wine and how good it is for your heart. One theory is that because of the antioxidants found within red wine that there would be plenty of healthy benefits. A lot of the basis of this theory initially has to do with general trends noted in wine heavy regions such as France.
General trends have been responsible for many theories over the years. For example, people in Alaska and Japan have a fish rich diet and it was noted there were less heart attacks on average and lower cholesterol in those regions.
Red wine has fallen into that same category of generally being accepted as something that helps your heart. The main reason is the presence of ‘resveratrol’ which supposedly increases the levels of good cholesterol in your body. This in turn helps protect you from artery damage. Resveratrol is one of the antioxidants in red wine; called polyphenols which might help protect the lining of those blood vessels in the area of the heart.
So is it True?
Right now there is no hard evidence to support these claims. Many of the observational trials conducted on the subject were sorely lacking controls. There was no way to curtail the people’s diet and include those habits to go with what was being consumed from alcohol. Plus it is doubtful that anyone will ever be able to create an actual focus group based around consuming alcohol.
On top of that, studies have shown that people who drink only moderately have different characteristics than those who drink excessively. Typically speaking those who drink moderately are healthier and better educated. Does this mean that they eat a healthier diet and exercise more as well? That would then skew results between the two groups and the conclusions people might draw. If the moderate drinkers are doing more cardiovascular exercise and eating things like fish and nuts then lowered cholesterol would be expected compared to a group that didn’t.
Alcohol kills brain cells and damages the liver. In women, studies have shown that there is a link to various types of cancer (Million Women Study – UK). If you enjoy a glass of red wine now and again that is still considered acceptable. But you can’t drink a large amount and hide behind the excuse that you are doing it to benefit your heart. It just isn’t true. A recent researcher was fired for fabricating data saying that it was beneficial that was then published in medical journals.
If you want more antioxidants in your system like the ones found in wine there is another way to get them. You can simply eat fruits like blueberries and pomegranate. They both have resveratrol in them. Also other fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, oranges, bananas, squash, red peppers, and other more colorful items (red, orange, and yellow) contain other types of antioxidants in them with no negative effects that are found in alcohol.
- Is red wine really good for the heart? (foxnews.com)
- Dark Soy Sauce Healthier Than Red Wine: Study – Soybean Products – United Soybean Board (soyconnection.com)