RSS: Wine Health
paradox" that the incidence of
coronary heart disease is relatively low in southern
France despite high dietary intake of
|There is a lack of medical consensus
about whether moderate consumption of beer, wine, or
distilled spirits has a stronger association with
longevity. Of ten major studies, three found stronger
evidence for wine, three for beer, three for liquor, and
one study found no difference between alcoholic
This article summarizes the recommended
maximum intake (or 'safe
limits') of alcohol as recommended by the health
agencies of various governments. These recommendations
are varied, reflecting scientific uncertainty. The
recommendations are distinct from legal restrictions
that may apply in those countries. [The recommended
daily maximum is 2-3 drinks]
Resveratrol is produced naturally by grape skins in
response to fungal infection, including exposure to
fermentation. As white wine has minimal contact with
grape skins during this process, it generally contains
lower levels of the chemical.[52
|A 2007 study found that both red and
white wines are effective anti-bacterial agents against
|some researchers have concluded that
wine made from the
Cabernet Sauvignon grape reduces the risk of
most commonly known for their
antioxidant activity. However, it is now known that
the health benefits they provide against cancer and
heart disease are the result of other mechanisms.
Flavonoids have been referred to as "nature's
biological response modifiers" because of strong
experimental evidence of their inherent ability to
modify the body's reaction to
carcinogens. They show anti-allergic,
, anti-microbial and anti-cancer
phytoalexin produced naturally by several
plants when under attack by
pathogens such as
fungi. A number of beneficial health effects, such
anti-inflammatory effects, have been reported
any biological effects of
melatonin are produced through activation of
while others are due to its role as a pervasive and
with a particular role in the protection of
|excessive consumption of alcohol can
cause some diseases including
cirrhosis of the liver and
Photographic images from
flicker-track credit to source by right clicking to find foto name and then searching flickr
[in google site:flickr.com] with words separated
|cartoons from 100000free cliparts.com.
Cancer Prevention & Red wine by medicinenet.com
cardiovascular and cancer benefits of specific chemical
compounds, polyphenols, found in red wines
antioxidants discussed below are still preliminary.
* Improved brain and muscle function also has been associated
with moderate wine consumption .
* A number of very nasty bacteria and viruses are inactivated by
wine and by grapes (but, surprisingly, in some cases not by
* One report suggests that antioxidants may help prevent toxemia
* Long noted, but unexplained, has been a disparity between the
number of alcohol calories ingested and weight gain. A peek into
the mystery may be offered by the recent observation that
catechin polyphenols (flavonoid antioxidants, as found in wine
and green tea), stimulate the "burning" of body fat.
Dr. Harvey E. Finkel
|WINE: The French Paradox
|The French paradox refers to the observation
that the French suffer a relatively low incidence of coronary
heart disease, despite having a diet relatively rich in
saturated fats like cheese, butter, eggs, and organ meats. Wine
through history has enjoyed a healthy reputation among
philosophers and medical practitioners but it was not until 1991
that the virtue of moderation trumping abstinence became a
commonly accepted truth. Thus the story of wine in the 21st
century can be told as a tribute to French culture.
|Bacchus we thank who gave us wine
Which warms the blood within our veins;
That nectar is itself divine.
The man who drinks not, yet attains
By godly grace to human rank
Would be an angel if he drank.
--- Pierre Motin
French drinking song
|God made only water, but man made
--- Victor Hugo, 1856
"Clearly, the pleasures wines afford are transitory, but
so are those of the ballet or of a musical performance.
Wine is inspiring and adds greatly to the joy of
"Wine... the intellectual part of the meal."
--- Alexandre Dumas
"I serve your Beaune to my friends, but your Volnay I
keep for myself."
|If God forbade drinking, would He
have made wine so good?
--- Cardinal Richeleu
|[During a chase, in the Cardinal's
own coach] Porthos: "For a chase, the Cardinal
recommends his excellent '24 Cabernet." Porthos to
D'Artagnan: "You can't have any, you're too young."
--- Porthos in the Three Musketeers
|The best use of bad wine is to drive
away poor relations.
--- French proverb
|He who loves not wine, women and song
remains a fool his whole life long.
--- Martin Luther, 1777
|Wine rejoices the heart of man and
joy is the mother of all virtues.
--- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
|Here's to the corkscrew - a useful
key to unlock the storehouse of wit, the treasury of
laughter, the front door of fellowship, and the gate of
--- W.E.P. French
I don't have a drinking problem except when I can't
get a drink.
(The tattoo once read 'Winona Forever'!)
|Mankind . . . possesses two supreme
blessings. First of these is the goddess Demeter, or
Earth whichever name you choose to call her by. It was
she who gave to man his nourishment of grain. But after
her there came the son of Semele, who matched her
present by inventing liquid wine as his gift to man. For
filled with that good gift, suffering mankind forgets
its grief; from it comes sleep; with it oblivion of the
troubles of the day. There is no other medicine for
---Euripides c. 485 - 406 B.C.
The Bacchae [c. 407 B.C.], l. 274
|In vino veritas [In wine is truth].
---Proverb quoted by PLATO,
Symposium 217 (also
attributed to Pliny the Elder)
|A man not old, but mellow, like good
---Stephen Phillips (1845-1915)
Ulysses, III. ii
|Days of wine and roses laugh and run
Like a child at play.
---Johnny Mercer (1909-1976)
Days of Wine and Roses
|Souls of poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host's Canary wine?
---John Keats (1795-1821)
Lines on the Mermaid Tavern
|The wine urges me on, the bewitching
wine, which sets even a wise man to singing and to
laughing gently and rouses him up to dance and brings
forth words which were better unspoken.
The Odyssey, bk. XIV, l. 463
|Wine gives courage and makes men more
apt for passion.
“A man will be eloquent if you give him good
--- Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Twas Noah who first planted the vine and mended his
morals by drinking its wine.”
--- Benjamin Franklin
|There is a devil in every berry of
|Wine is the first weapon that devils
use in attacking the young
"For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the
wine is red."
--- Psalms 75:8
|Wine is bottled poetry.
Robert Louis Stevenson
|Poetry is devil's wine.
|Drink no longer water, but use a
little wine for thy stomach's sake.
---The First Epistle of Paul the
Apostle to Timothy, 5:23
"We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the
marriage in Cana as of a miracle. But this conversion
is, through the goodness of God, made every day before
our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven
upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with
the grapes, to be changed into wine; a constant proof
that God loves us, and loves to see us happy."
--- Ben Franklin
|Two great European narcotics..
alcohol and Christianity.
|"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." .........
Wine is one of the most civilized
things in the world and one of the most natural things
of the world that has been brought to the greatest
perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment
and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely
Death in the Afternoon
|Let us have wine and women, mirth and
Sermons and soda-water the day after.
|More wine quotes
France produces more wine than any other
country, only Italy is close. It is well established now that
moderate alcohol drinkers live longer than abstainers or heavy
More than 400 studies over the past 70 years
have analyzed the health benefits of drinking wine which show
that moderate drinking of red wine helps prevent heart disease,
cancer, and other conditions.
The French paradox phenomenon was first
noted by Irish physician Samuel Black in 1819. The term French
paradox was coined by Dr. Serge Renaud, a scientist from
Bordeaux University in France in 1992.
When a description of this paradox was aired in the United
States on 60 Minutes in 1991 with the proposal that red wine, or
alcohol, decreases the incidence of cardiac diseases. The
program catalyzed a large increase in North American demand for
red wines from around the world, the consumption of red wine
increased 44% and some wineries began lobbying for the right to
label their products as "health food".
In 1998 Renaud
and colleagues from the University of Bordeaux expanded the
study and reported (Epidemiology, March, 1998)
that moderate wine consumption (2-3 glasses a day) was
associated with a 30% reduction in the death rate from all
causes; a 35% percent reduction in death rates from
cardiovascular disease; and an 18-24% reduction in death rates
from cancer. “The results of the present study,” the researchers
write, “appear to confirm the speculation that the so-called
French Paradox is due, at least in part, to the regular
consumption of wine.
Exactly how the process works
is still being worked out by the researchers but
one study found
that the ingestion of alcohol; equivalent to two glasses of wine
or three beers, with a high-fat meal resulted in a 20% decrease
in the growth of arterial muscle cells. A general conclusion is
that alcohol consumed with a meal may prevent blood clotting
triggered by fat.
Wine’s biggest health claim is its ability to
help prevent chronic heart disease. This is significant, because
the single largest cause of death in developed countries is from
heart attacks. Healthy people have arteries that are smooth on
the inside. Blood flows freely without obstruction. In
heart disease, plaque builds up, creating a rough spot on the
inside of the vessel. Your body detects this and sends platelets
to the site. Platelets adhere to the rough spot, causing more
obstruction. When blood supply diminishes to a dribble, then
tissue death results.
Wine seems to prevent heart disease by increasing the amount of
"good" cholesterol in the body. (Only the "bad" kind clogs
arteries.) Wine can also lengthen the amount of time it takes
your blood to clot—effectively rendering platelets less
WINE for polyphenol compounds
of resveratrol, melatonin and
The benefits of red wine appear to be
linked to the presence of resveratrol, melatonin and
Flavinoids are thought to help protect the
body from cancer because of their antioxidant properties.
They help the body neutralize certain free radicals that can
trigger the cellular activity that may lead to cancer.
Many foods that can improve or prevent certain health conditions
contain flavonoids. Think of flavonoids as "biological
Red wine is a rich source of biologically active
phytochemicals, chemicals found in plants.
Found chiefly in grape skins, their concentrations tend to be
higher in red wines (when skins are included in fermentation)
than white (when skins are culled) Wine also
contains a much-studied antioxidant called reservatol.
Antioxidants prevent free radicals from forming, which can
damage your body’s cells. But reservatol also seems to have
multiple anti-cancer properties: minimizing DNA mutations
that can lead to cancer, inducing cancer cells to die, and
blocking the formation of new blood vessels that "feed" tumors.
More studies are needed to confirm these findings, but they
appear to be even more active than the more renowned antioxidant
vitamins A, C and E.
Wine contains quercitin, which is a
flavonoid. Quercitin can change your body’s reaction to
allergens, viruses, and carcinogens, and reduce your response to
Melatonin — a substance present in
red wine and some foods and that humans naturally produce in
small amounts — is thought to delay the oxidative damage and
inflammatory processes typical of old age.
High doses of the chemical resveratrol appear
to mimic the effects that a 20 to 30 per cent reduction in
calories in the typical diet would have. Researchers say such a
diet is effective at prolonging life in many species. Several
studies have suggested that resveratrol offers the best
explanation of the "French paradox."
Red wine has been credited with more than
keeping your heart healthy and delaying the aging process. It
has also shown promising results in preventing prostate cancer,
diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, leukemia and some common
food-borne illnesses. In 2008 Israeli researchers announced a
white wine process which would also contain the health-giving
flavinoids of red wine. Israeli wine manufacturer Binyamina is
now using the recipe to manufacture this healthier white wine.
What is the
amount of daily consumption?
So what exactly is moderate
drinking of wine? How much is moderate? This being a health
question, the experts seem to err on the side of caution.
Population studies have observed a J curve association between
wine consumption and the risk of heart disease. This means that
abstainers and heavy drinkers have an elevated risk, while
moderate drinkers have a lower risk. We were unable to locate a
chart illustrating the drop-off for heavy drinking but the
wikipedia.org survey of government recommended portions shows 2
to 3 drinks per day as the upper limit.
It is common now to read that for women their
best bet is one 6-ounce glass (3/4 cup)
of red wine per day—sipped slowly with a meal while for men, it’s two
glasses per day. The lack of a discussion showing an adjustment
for weight expresses the general timidness and preference for
leaning to the side of caution for the health advisors working
in this field.
A healthy body can metabolize a half ounce of alcohol per hour,
so don’t drink too fast. Drinking more than this
can cancel out potential health benefits. Drinking less or
not at all doesn’t seem to provide the same health benefits.
"Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like
My only regret in life is that I did not drink more
--- John Maynard Keynes
"Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just
Drinking wine has grown in popularity—especially since 1992,
when Renaud and DeLongeril presented the discovery of the
"French Paradox." Although the French ate a diet high in
saturated fat, their mortality rate from chronic heart disease
was unexpectedly lower than other industrialized countries, such
as the United States and the United Kingdom. And the most
striking difference between the French diet and the diets of
other countries is their consumption of wine.
The beneficial effects of alcohol have been
praised since the origin of drinks; it is true that the
therapeutic effects might have been of value at a time when
neither anesthetics nor tranquillizers existed.
Findings on wine's health benefits have led
to a renewed appetite around the world for this ancient drink.
From 1949 to 1998, the number of wine-producing countries has
jumped from 40 to 74 and production has risen by 85 percent.
Today more people than ever drink wine for health and for
Wine though the ages
from Gaul or France
Winemaking was an established art in Egypt by
3000 BC. Kings grew two sets of vines, for funereal and domestic
wines. Chinese legends from that period also speak of wine
Greeks who settled in Marseille around 600 BC
taught the Gauls to make wine.
The Greeks credited the god Dionysus with the
gift of wine. The peoples of the Mediterranean began
emerged leaving barbarism for civilization when they learnt to
cultivate the olive and the vine. The much adopted and exported
Greek culture taught these virtues.
Many succeeding generations of artists have celebrated these
virtues and France has cultivated an appreciation for these
sensibilities throughout the many opposing currents and
zeitgeists which succeeded in repressing this thinking
Under the Romans, Bordeaux, the Rhone valley and
the Iberian peninsula also became well-established
In 92 AD the Emperor Domitian, threatened by
competition, ordered half the Gallic vines pulled up. When
restrictions were lifted in 280 BC, regions such as Burgundy and
Alsace started to produce wine.
A French doctor wrote the earliest known printed book about wine
around 1410 A.D.
|The World Health Organization showed that
France had the lowest death rate from heart disease in the
industrialized western world, despite the French habits of
smoking, eating fatty foods and shunning exercise. Only the
Japanese, with their low-fat diet of fish and rice, had a lower
Civilization's strongest ally
|Ancient cultures recognized wine's virtues as
a medicine and an antiseptic. A medical prescription based on
wine has been found on an Egyptian papyrus.
|From Homer's time until recently, wine was
used to disinfect wounds. Hippocrates prescribed it as a
diuretic and to calm a fever.
|Wine is a mild natural
tranquilizer, serving to reduce anxiety and tension. As part of
a normal diet, wine provides the body with energy, with
substances that aid digestion, and with small amounts of
minerals and vitamins. It can also stimulate the appetite. In
addition, wine serves to restore nutritional balance, relieve
tension, sedate and act as a mild euphoric agent to the
convalescent and especially the aged.
Most of the pathogens that threaten humans are inhibited or
killed off by the acids and alcohols in wine. Because of this,
wine was considered to be a safer drink than much of the
available water up until the 18th century.
|Until the 20th century, hospitals and private
doctors relied on wine to treat all sorts of ailments. White
wines were prescribed as diuretics, red Burgundies for
dyspepsia, red Bordeaux for stomach disorders, and Champagne for
nausea and catarrh. Today wine is still a component in many
is Too Much?
|Post mortem studies show that dead alcoholics
have relatively "clean" arteries. But for this group, the
dangers of alcohol abuse greatly outweigh any benefit from
Abstinence, for this group is the only solution and thus
discussions of the health benefits of alcohol and wine are often
tempered or watered down by this need to reinforce the respect
that not drinking needs to maintain for the sake of not letting
others fall off the wagon.
Worldwide, drinking causes almost
as much harm as smoking, according to the World
Health Organization. The agency estimates that
alcohol causes 1.8 million deaths around the
world every year; about a third of those deaths
are accidents that could have been avoided. The
WHO also estimates that worldwide, alcohol
causes or plays a role in 20 per cent to 30 per
cent of all cases of esophageal cancer, liver
cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, homicide,
epileptic seizures and traffic accidents.
Risk of progression to problem drinking is the
major health risk of moderate drinking. The main
debate for the medical profession is whether the risks of
problem drinking outweigh giving the advice to patients to drink
Still it would seem that the public health
approach popularly known as "Just Say NO" is widely discredited
and as likely to cause harm by daring in abuse the most "at
risk" populations. Promoting a healthy relationship of
moderation with pleasures and the occasional annual release from
the tedium of habit a Carnaval celebration can add to
life would appear the better approach by public health
Let your boat of life be light,
packed with only what you need - a homely home and
simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name,
someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog,
and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and
a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a
Jerome K. Jerome
Three Men in a Boat
"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."
--- Bishop of Seville
Pour out the wine without restraint
Pour not by cups, but by the bellyful,
Pour out to all that wull.
---Edmund Spenser (1552?-1599)
“Wine is a living liquid containing no preservatives. Its life
cycle comprises youth, maturity, old age, and death. When not
treated with reasonable respect it will sicken and die.”
--- Julia Child
"Presenting the cork is wine nonsense, a ritual invented by
captains and sommeliers. The wine snob doesn’t resent ritual.
There is infinite ritual in the etiquette of serving wine. But
most of it at least hints at style or purpose. Placing an
unsightly cork on the tablecloth hints at absurdity."
--- Leonard S. Bernstein