Health and Red Wine

How much do we know about the health effects of red wine. Of late, there has been a lot of buzz about our health and wine.


You may have seen headlines that tout “Drink wine and live longer.” Do you believe everything you read? I hope not. This headline is probably publicity for the red wine council (although I’m not sure who benefits from this publicity).


You may have also read articles that focus on the benefits of resveratrol and it’s effects on our health and wine. Yes, that you can believe when you read it. The resveratrol in red wine comes from the skin of the grapes, and also from the seeds. Because red wine is fermented with grape skins longer than white wine (many white wines do not come in contact with the skins), it is the red wine which contains resveratrol.


There have been tests done on resveratrol that identified a group of polyphenols, known as procyanidins. Procyanidin is believed to help keep heart tissue healthy.

It is believed that the polyphenols offer the greatest protection to human blood-vessel cells. Studies show that resveratrol appears to be well-absorbed by humans.

However, the small amounts we ingest from grape skins and juices that is absorbed into our bodies is rapidly metabolized and eliminated.

Case Studies on Health and Wine

Most of the case study articles refer to a specific study that will note the results are inconclusive. Or how about the article for studies that make reference to amounts, or numbers that are a just a “wee bit out of the ordinary.”

Here’s an excerpt from an article:

    “…Previous studies have reported on resveratrol’s beneficial effects, but the amounts typically used in the studies equaled the amount of resveratrol found in hundreds of bottles of red wine. Some scientists questioned the new findings and maintained that supplements with high doses of resveratrol potentially provide better results.”

I’m not sure that consuming the amount of wine as used in this study is the right thing to do. At this point, I’m thinking just one glass of wine with dinner is all I really want. Who needs hundreds of bottles?

Drinking May Not Be For Everyone

It is important to take into consideration that not everyone should drink wine, or, for that matter, any alcohol. Those who take prescription drugs may have adverse effects if they drink alcohol and take medication. Be sure to consult a physician before drinking any alcoholic beverages.

It would be wise to check on elderly family members as well. They may not realize that mixing their medication with alcohol can cause bad reactions that can be harmful.

Many Foods Contain Resveratrol

We do not necessarily have to drink red wine for it’s health benefits. It is now known that resveratrol is found in more than just red wine.

Blueberries, cranberries, peanuts, red and purple grape juices are a few of the foods with resveratrol and are easy to add to your daily food intake.

You may also be pleased to know that procyanidins are also found in darkchocolate and dark teas.

Very simply, we can add fresh red grapes to our diet and drink red or purple grape juice instead of red wine. You can add blueberries and cranberries in your cereal or green salad every day, and snack on one ounce of peanuts (unsalted please). You will have a healthier menu everyday, and it will be delicious.

One thing to keep in mind is that the amounts of resveratrol found in these foods can vary greatly. It is safe to incorporate them into your meals every day choosing to eat a bit more or less of any of these foods on any day as you please.

The benefits of resveratrol can be attained through dietary supplements as well. Check with your physician before taking any dietary supplements.

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