Red Red Wine and Health
The idea that red wine could have a positive impact on heart health was a revelation. Wine wasn't typically considered a healthy drink by Americans. There are clear dangers related to the consumption of alcohol. The public attitude began to change though as news of the "Mediterranean Diet" worked its way into the popular culture. The basic idea is that a diet high in the right types of fats, lean meats, fruits, and vegetables can protect your heart. Wine in moderation was included in this new way of eating. But why wine? And why red wine specifically?
The people studying the foods and beverages associated with this diet found something interesting in red wine. There is a substance called Resveratrol. This chemical compound is found in the skins of red grapes. The scientific community put their money on resveratrol as the key factor making red wine "healthy". There was a lot of excitement around this discovery. As you can imagine, the wine industry was ecstatic. The already popular beverage now had the word "healthy" connected to it. That is like marketing gold. But what was really going on?
Scientists did what they are supposed to and questioned everything. Were the studies showing resveratrol protecting human cells to be believed? There was, and still is, a healthy debate about what this wonder compound was capable of.
Plants use resveratrol to repair damaged cells and to protect against disease. If you want to get into the details of the chemistry, check out the Wikipedia page for resveratrol. For the sake of this article, we can agree that this is a substance that is found in grapes and wine and that it may have some beneficial effects in humans.
What Claims Are Made About Resveratrol
Heart Protection - There are claims that resveratrol can have a positive impact on heart health by lowering bad cholesterol, reducing inflammation and reducing blot clotting. There are no definitive studies proving this.
Cancer - There are claims that it can prevent cancer by limiting cancer cells ability to spread and by destroying existing cancer cells. Again, there are no studies proving this.
Alzheimers - By reducing the amount of plaque in the brain and protecting nerve endings resveratrol is said to protect against Alzheimer's. Still no definitive proof of this.
Diabetes - The compound is supposed to prevent insulin resistance and activate a protective gene called SIRT1. Studies are still being done on this, but there is no clear proof.
Other Uses For Resveratrol
There is an ongoing discussion of replacing sulfites with resveratrol in order to preserve wine in the bottle. There are many people who don't like the fact that sulfites are consumed when you drink a bottle of wine and feel that resveratrol is a healthier alternative.
While there is hope, it is clear that the jury is still out on resveratrol. If you enjoy drinking a glass of red wine, we suggest you don't do it for health reasons. Drinking a glass of wine can be relaxing and pleasurable. Those are the best reasons to consume it until science proves otherwise.
Drink Wine | Save Money
MAKE SURE YOU ENTER THE CODE CWA15 TO RECEIVE OUR SPECIAL DISCOUNT ON THE PRIORITY WINE PASS.
The best way to save on Napa wineries, hotels and transportation. Get free assistance with planning your visit from Napa insiders!