There continues to be a wave of articles and research data confirming that drinking red wine with meals could improve our health. But can it be an outright remedy potion…and even a weight loss treatment…???
One study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology by a team at a German University hospital in Bochum found that individuals who drank red wine while eating a meal high in fat experienced lower levels of inflammation in their blood vessels than those who drank other beverages.
By way of comparison, blood vessel inflammation was greatly increased if the subjects drank a cola type drink with the meal. The red wine could help prevent the onset of atherosclerosis, though the scientists concluded it may be better for people to avoid such high-fat meals altogether.
Another team of researchers at French universities in Lille, Toulouse and Strasbourg found that acceptable daily consumption of alcohol may help keep men thinner. For the study, published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, the team monitored nearly 8,000 men, ages 50 to 59, beginning in 1991. Of men who drank daily nearly 75% of the men in the study were most likely to be trim, as long as they avoided heavy consumption. Occasional drinkers, one to two days a week, were more likely to show signs of obesity, followed by frequent drinkers three to five days a week.
The average participant who drank daily consumed 264 milliliters of pure alcohol per week, about 9 ounces. Considering the average 5-ounce glass of wine contains 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol that’s about 15 glasses of wine per week.
Hypertension is considered a silent killer. And the heavy consumption of alcohol is known to increase the level of hypertension in adults, potentially leading to heart disease and stroke. However, a recent meta-analysis of previous research by a team of cardiologists at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center and Columbia University found that light drinking can either reduce the risk of hypertension or at least not elevate it. For the analysis, the team looked at a database of subjects in 16 separate studies. The data showed that among women, drinking a glass of wine or less per day actually decreased the risk of hypertension by up to 13%. Men who drank one or two glasses did not show as large a benefit, but also suffered no greater risk. Heavy drinkers in both categories showed a higher risk.
The studies, of course, conclude that alcohol intake should be limited to daily recommended allowances.
So, drink up and…keep the doctor away!