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Wine and Your Health

 

"Wine gives strength, pleasure and joy in living.
Louis Pasture

Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried with fewer
tensions and more tolerance"
Benjamin Franklin

Is Wine a Healthy Drink

Wine can contain over 1000 different chemical constituents, making it a very complex solution, generally consisting of 85-90% water, 10-14% alcohol and 1-5% phenolics. Over time wine became known as a medicinal drink. (1). It was a more hygienic drink than the water of the day. It was not until modern times that full scale studies were done to answer the question of why people living in France, Portugal and Italy did not have the same mortality rate as the US, Canada and Scandinavian Countries. Many researchers concluded that it was due to wine consumption in France, Portugal and Italy that causes vascular disease to be comparatively rare.

Alcohol helps the blood flow more easily around the body, and regular intake of wine reduces the level of harmful cholesterol.(1) Now alcohol is only a small part of the story, scientific studies have shown not all alcoholic drinks have the same positive effect. Please remember that more is not better for you, too much alcohol can be harmful; you should drink with a responsible attitude.

In his recently published book, Neuroenology: How the Brain Creates the Taste of Wine, Gordon Shepherd argues that wine tasting actually stimulates your brain more than allegedly highfalutin activities like listening to music or even tackling a complicated math problem. Remember that time you did trigonometry while sipping wine with Beethoven playing the background? That’s basically the closest you’ve ever come to being Albert Einstein.

Happiness and Wine

Research, published in a recent issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs , followed almost 5,400 Canadians for 14 years. The authors primarily operated out of Portland State University in Oregon, with the help of health centers in Quebec and Ontario.

Drinking alcohol in a consistent, responsible manner is linked to an overall improvement in health and well being, according to a study of middle-aged Canadians. Subjects who kept their weekly consumption "sensible," according to the authors, also reported feeling happier and had fewer complaints compared to nondrinkers and former drinkers.

The researchers say the results are important because the study tracks alcohol consumption from middle age onward, whereas prior research lacks age-specific drinking risks. "Indeed, if anything, continued moderate consumption during middle and later life may have been beneficial," they added. However, the researchers say their study does not support starting to drink for health reasons.

 

Cut the fat

A new study finds that a chemical in red wine may prevent some of the fatty foods we eat from being converted into fatty tissue. The research, published in the March issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry , found that piceatannol, a polyphenol found in grape skins and red wine, effectively blocks the formation of fat cells in the lab.

In previous research, the polyphenol resveratrol has been linked to lower levels of fat, but its clinical implications are limited. Resveratrol is quickly metabolized by humans and may wash through the body with little noticeable benefit to fat intake. Piceatannol is similar to resveratrol, but with a key difference. Its structure contains an additional hydrogen and oxygen molecule that makes it harder for the body to digest—it sticks around in the body a little longer.

When the human body consumes fat, those calories are either converted into energy or stored as fatty tissue in the body, depending on several factors. Kim and his team observed that when they recreated this process in the lab, piceatannol prevented the body from converting fat cells into fatty tissue. (Kim and his team sourced the chemical from Monastrell grapes, also known as Mourvèdre.)

Even at smaller doses, piceatannol was an effective fat blocker, producing a 20 percent reduction in fat formation. At higher doses, the formation of fat was nearly non-existent, with 80 percent fewer fat cells formed. And the good news is piceatannol is abundant in nature. "You find piceatannol in berries, grapes and red wine, while the highest piceatannol content can be found in passion fruit ( source Wine spectator)

 

What Makes Wine So Beneficial

It is the phenolics found in the grape. A phenolic compound in wine can be defined as one that is derived naturally from plant or microbial origin, consisting of a phenyl ring backbone with many substitutive possibilities. Some phenolics like coumaric, caffeic, ferulic and vanillic acids are relatively simple while others are more complex polymeric structures such as the tannins, which contribute strongly to the mouth feel, quality and palatability of red wines. Phenolic compounds are commonly found in animal, plant and microbial tissues and contribute to defensive strategies as many are involved in plant protection as biologically active growth inhibitors of other living systems. In addition, they contribute to color and flavor of food items including wine. Since many have strong antioxidant activities, they also play important beneficial roles in mammalian systems. Red wine consumption has been clearly linked to reduced incidence of atherosclerosis and heart disease in humans, most likely due to the presence of numerous bio active phenolic compounds in red wine products.

These compounds have a protective effect on the capillaries and on the collagen in the walls of the blood vessels. They hinder the aggregation of platelets and thus prevents the formation of clots. Phenolics also have powerful antioxidant properties, which inhibit degradation of the cell walls both in coronary arteries and in the brain. There is also the thought that wine may be beneficial in the treatment of cancer and Alzheimer's Disease.(1) The majority of Phenolics in the grape are found in the seed and skin. The skin of the grape plays a greater role in the production of red wine than white wine.

A Little is Good For You

People of southern Europe eat far more fruits and vegetables and less red meats than North Americans, their overall diet is healthier than ours. Enjoying your wine in moderation and with a responsible attitude can contribute to a long and healthy life. A little goes a long way.

While heart disease reduction and other health-related findings are applicable to all beverages containing alcohol, some research has found advantages specifically for wine drinkers. In a landmark Danish study published in 1995, researchers for the Copenhagen City Heart Study found wine drinkers to have clear health advantages over nondrinkers or moderate drinkers of other beverages. "Our finding, that only wine drinking clearly reduces both the risk of dying from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease and the risk of dying from other causes," wrote Morten Gronbaek and colleagues in the British Medical Journal, "suggest that other more broadly acting factors in wine may be present."

Dr Jean-Paul Brouster of France says cabernet sauvignon is the healthiest. He refers to the cabernet sauvignon of Bordeaux as containing the highest concentration of resveratrol and quercitin which are beneficial to the heart.

Resveratrol

"The compound (?) in red wine that keeps your blood platlettes 'slippery' and keeps those old arteries
from clogging up, is found to be most prominent in Pinot Noir. Not only in Pinot Noir, BUT Ontario Pinot Noir!" Linda Bramble

Findings published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, contributes to the growing body of research that suggests moderate red wine consumption may help prevent a number of diseases, including age-related dementias, heart disease, and cancer. The researchers, led by neurobiologists Philippe Marambaud and Peter Davies, say their study also identifies a previously unknown chemical pathway that may one day be tapped to design new drugs to fight Alzheimer's Disease

Canadian red wines may actually be naturally healthful. According to wine writer Natalie MacLean, cool-climate wines contain slightly higher levels of resveratrol, an antioxidant believed to help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease.

May I suggest that now is a good time to take a trip to your local wine store and purchase a fine bottle of Canadian wine. A glass or two with dinner could improve your health, it may even prolong your life.

"I have enjoyed great health at a great age because everyday since I can remember I have consumed a bottle of wine except when I have not felt well. Then I have consumed two bottles." -A Bishop of Seville

"In Europe we thought of wine as something as healthy and normal as food and also a great giver of happiness and well being and delight. Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary." -Ernest Hemingway, "A Moveable Feast"

Resveratrol = Exercise?

A 2012 preliminary study done on rats suggested that resveratrol can provide the same benefits for heart function and muscle strength as exercise. Researchers say, “some of the benefits of regular exercise can also be mimicked by the naturally occurring polyphenol, resveratrol.”

However, the resveratrol content of red wine is rather low. You would have to consume several bottles per day to reach the amount used in the animal studies. This is not recommended, for obvious reasons (1314). If you’re drinking wine just for the resveratrol content, then getting it from a supplement may be a better idea.

 

Red wine for Seniors

Scientists say that resveratrol, the compound found in red wine, could help improve senior mobility and prevent falls, according to new research presented to the American Chemical Society

In the study, researchers fed young and old lab mice a resveratrol-rich diet for eight weeks. During that period, the mice's mobility was tested by charting their ability to cross a balance beam, with researchers noting how many times a mouse would fall.

At first, the older mice had much more difficulty than their younger peers. But when week four rolled around, the senior mice stayed on the beam more often, and their performance was close to that of the young mice.

"Our study suggests that a natural compound like resveratrol, which can be obtained either through dietary supplementation or diet itself, could actually decrease some of the motor deficiencies that are seen in our aging population," said research leader Jane Cavanaugh, Ph.D., in a press release. "And that would, therefore, increase an aging person's quality of life and decrease their risk of hospitalization due to slips and falls."

Research released earlier this year suggests that red wine can lead to a longer life . Red wine and resveratrol have also been linked to good heart health and to inhibiting the spread of a number of human cancer lines , such as breast, thyroid, prostate, colon and stomach cancers, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State, which studies micronturients

 Moderate wine consumption has been shown to significantly delay dementia in a new report that analyses almost 100 studies into the subject.

The evidence stands in direct opposition to controversial new British government guidance on alcohol consumption by suggesting that there are health benefits to moderate drinking.

The Chief Medical Officer dismissed the benefits of drinking red wine as an “old wives’ tale” in January, when the recommended weekly consumption was cut to 14 units for both men and women.

But the new ‘study of studies’ suggests that chemicals known as phenols – most commonly found in red and sparkling wine – can help to protect brain cells from damage.

It also concluded that phenols may help nerve and brain cells to keep communicating with other cells, countering the effects of Alzheimer’s.

The review, led by Dr Jeremy Spencer of the University of Reading, has been published in Wine Safety, Consumer Preference, and Human Health.



Red Wine Halves Prostate Cancer Risk

Research by Janet L. Stanford at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Centre states “We found that men who consumed four or more glasses of red wine per week reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 50 percent. Among men who consumed four or more 4 ounce glasses of red wine per week, we saw about a 60 percent lower incidence of the more aggressive types of prostate cancer. The more clinically aggressive prostate cancer is where the strongest reduction in risk was observed," Stanford said.

News Research

In the last few years, thousands of researches on red wine showed that moderate intake of this drink improves cardiovascular health. The cardio protective effect has been attributed to antioxidants present in the skin and seeds of red grapes

Based on the research experts advise that the antioxidants, called flavonoids, reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in three ways: by reducing production of low density lipoprotein (the "bad" cholesterol), by boosting high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the good cholesterol) and by reducing blood clotting.

Furthermore researchers have found that moderate red wine consumption may be beneficial to more than just your heart. One study found that the antioxidant resveratrol, may inhibit tumor development in some cancers. Another study indicated that resveratrol aided in the formation of nerve cells, which experts believe may be helpful in the treatment of neurological diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinson's.

The most recent studies on red wine presented at the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) annual meeting, in Orlando, Florida by the show that red wine polyphenols may help fight gum disease. V. Houde, M. Boisvert and their colleagues from University

Laval in Canada investigated the role of polyphenols. Including those from red wine, in scavenging free radicals released by immune cells stimulated with components of bacteria causing periodontal diseases. Free radicals are believed to be at least partly responsible for the development of gum disease and are generated by immune cells during periodontitis. In order to have healthy gums it is important to that free radicals are maintained at low levels. Their results indicated that red wine polyphenols significantly modulate several inflammatory components released by macrophages (a population of host immune cells) in response to bacterial stimuli.

There are also studies that show that wine drinkers have the lowest incidence of colon cancer, only 1% as against eighteen percent of beer drinkers and twelve percent in non-drinkers.

Longer Life

CTV.ca News Staff

An ingredient found in some red wines may help extend the human lifespan, a new study says. The study, which was published in Plos One, an online science journal,dosed mice with a low dose of resveratrol, which is found in the skins of some grapes, and said that the ingredient "may retard some aspects of aging."

Similar studies on the ingredient have been performed in the past with mice, including one study that turned regular mice into atheletic super-mice, by introducing resveratrol. However, scientists were using doses that far exceeded the miniscule amount found in a typical glass of red wine. Some scientists have estimated that a person would have to drink 100 bottles a day to translate the results from mice to humans -- which may prove difficult for your average wine connoisseur.

A number of pharmaceutical companies are already researching the ingredient, hoping to have a capsule available for human consumption in the near future. “I used to think it was probably a hundred years in the future that we'd see these anti-aging drugs come around,"Dr. David Sinclair, a Harvard professor said. "But now I'm optimistic that we'll see these possibly in the next few years. "

Analysts say that the first company to get the drug on the market could be in for windfall profits.

An ingredient found in some red wines may help extend the human lifespan, a new study says. The study, which was published in Plos One , an online science journal, dosed mice with a low dose of resveratrol, which is found in the skins of some grapes, and said that the ingredient "may retard some aspects of aging."

Similar studies on the ingredient have been performed in the past with mice, including one study that turned regular mice into atheletic super-mice, byintroducing resveratrol.

However, scientists were using doses that far exceeded the miniscule amount found in a typical glass of red wine. Some scientists have estimated that a person would have to drink 100 bottles a day to translate the results from mice to humans -- which may prove difficult for your average wine connoisseur.

A number of pharmaceutical companies are already researching the ingredient, hoping to have a capsule available for human consumption in the near future. Analysts say that the first company to get the drug on the market could be in for windfall profits.

The Heart

WASHINGTON - A natural compound found in red wine may protect the heart against the effects of the aging process, researchers said on Tuesday.

In their study, mice were given a diet supplemented with the compound known as resveratrol starting at their equivalent of middle age until old age. These mice experienced changes in their gene activity related to aging in a way very similar to mice that were placed on a so-called calorie restriction diet that slows the aging process by greatly cutting dietary energy intake.

Most striking was how the resveratrol, like calorie restriction, blocked the decline in heart function typically associated with aging, according to Tomas Prolla, a University of Wisconsin professor of genetics who helped lead the study.

Scientists Seek Fountain of Youth

Much as Spaniard Juan Ponce de Leon once searched for the mythical fountain of youth, researchers now are seeking ways to extend the quality and length of human life. In some studies, animals given a diet with greatly reduced caloric intake have lived longer than animals with normal diets. But perpetual hunger is a steep price to pay for greater longevity, some researchers say.

Resveratrol, found in abundance in grapes and in red wine, has drawn a lot of interest from scientists and some companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, which in April said it would pay $720 million to buy Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc, a company that is developing drugs that mimic the effects of resveratrol.

Some studies have shown that in high doses, resveratrol extended the life span of fruit flies and worms and prevented early death in mice fed a high-fat diet. In this study, mice were given relatively low doses compared to the earlier research, and still experienced important aging-related benefits, the researchers said.

The researchers began giving the resveratrol diet to the mice when they were 14 months old — their middle age — and followed the animals until they were about 30 months old. The researchers then conducted tests on cardiac function and on gene activity related to aging.

“Resveratrol at low doses can retard some aspects of the aging process, including heart aging, and it may do so by mimicking some of the effects of caloric restriction, which is known to retard aging in several tissues and extend life span,” added Prolla, whose study was published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.

Using a method that permits simultaneous analysis of thousands of genes at the same time, the researchers found a huge overlap in the genes whose activity were changed by resveratrol and caloric restriction.

They looked at the heart, brain and muscles, and said that the effect of resveratrol was strongest in the heart but did prevent some aging-related changes in the other tissues.

 

Red wine may inhibit breast cancer: US study

  • Monday 9 January 2012
  • by Adam Lechmere -Decanter.com

Red wine may have some effect in inhibiting the hormone that causes breast cancer, a study has found.

The study at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found that chemicals in the skins and seeds of red grapes slightly lowered oestrogen levels among premenopausal women.

The same effect was not seen in white wine.

The study, published online in the Journal of Women's Health , challenges the widely-held belief that all types of alcohol consumption heighten the risk of developing breast cancer.

Alcohol is known to increase levels of oestrogen, which fosters the growth of cancer cells.

However, the research at Cedars-Sinai suggests red wine acts differently, appearing to block the process that converts hormones such as testosterone - which is present in women's bodies - into oestrogen.

In the study, 36 women drank either Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay daily for almost a month, then switched to the other type of wine. Blood was collected twice each month to measure hormone levels.

Researchers were trying to determine whether red wine mimics the effects of aromatase inhibitors, which play a key role in managing oestrogen levels and are currently used to treat breast cancer.

Investigators said the change in hormone patterns suggested that red wine may stem the growth of cancer cells, as has been shown in test tube studies.

They stressed that the results do not mean that white wine increases the risk of breast cancer, but that white grapes may lack the same protective elements found in the grapes used in red wines.

At the same time they said findings were encouraging, and that changing to red wine might ‘shift the risk' of getting breast cancer.

‘If you were to have a glass of wine with dinner, you may want to consider a glass of red,' said Chrisandra Shufelt, assistant director of the Women's Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and one of the study's co-authors. ‘Switching may shift your risk.'

Glenn D Braunstein, vice president for clinical innovation at Cedars-Sinai said, ‘There are chemicals in red grape skin and red grape seeds that are not found in white grapes that may decrease breast cancer risk,' but he also advised that large-scale studies are still needed.

Even moderate amounts of alcohol intake may generally increase the risk of breast cancer in women, he said, and until larger studies are done, he would not recommend that a non-drinker begin to drink red wine

Recent report

London - Red wine could be the key to creating anti-ageing drugs within the next five years, according to new research.

The study shows that a chemical found in the drink can be used to target an enzyme in the body which combats age.

It is hoped the findings could eventually help prevent diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes.

Lead researcher Professor David Sinclair, of Harvard University, said the drugs could lead to people living until they are 150.

“Ultimately, these drugs would treat one disease, but unlike drugs of today, they would prevent 20 others. In effect, they would slow ageing,” he said.

The target enzyme is already naturally activated when we exercise or restrict the amount of calories we consume. But the study – published in the journal Science – found that its effects are enhanced by resveratrol, which is found in small quantities in red wine.

Man-made activators with a much stronger impact are already being developed.

Professor Sinclair suggested they could be taken in the same way as statin drugs, which are often prescribed to prevent heart disease.

He added that ageing was no longer “the irreversible affliction we thought it was”. - Daily Mail

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

 Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas found in a preliminary study that master sommeliers — people who arguably rely on their sense of smell more than anyone else — are less likely to get Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s than people who don’t soak in delicious smells for a living. The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Red Wine and Cancer
Red Wine and fat

 

1. Wine By Andre Domine, Publisher Konemann 5th edition

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