Cheers to National Wine Day!

It’s Friday, it’s a long weekend for many and if that weren’t enough good news, it’s also National Wine Day! 

In recent years, there is has been a great deal of conflicting information about the benefits of drinking wine but the majority of studies and research seem to agree moderate alcohol consumption is generally beneficial to good health and longevity.

Dry red wine in particular has been demonstrated to have a number of health benefits including raising good cholesterol while lowering bad, according to a two-year study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.  Participants in the study followed a Mediterranean diet and were randomly given either mineral water, dry red wine or white wine with dinner.  Both groups who drank wine with dinner also reported better quality of sleep.

Because red wine contains both resveratrol from grape skin and proanthocyanidin from the seed; two powerful antioxidants, it protects against free radicals which speed effects of aging on the body and brain.  Antioxidants can not only protect against heart disease, they may also help prevent dementia.   Resveratrol has also been linked with lowering inflammation and blood clotting (stroke).

Too much alcohol can have harmful effects on the body and it isn’t advised that anyone who doesn’t drink alcohol should start drinking red wine for it’s health benefits.  Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk for liver and pancreas diseases, heart failure, high blood pressure, some types of cancer and stroke.  According to the Mayo Clinic, more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 for men can also lead to weight gain and obesity as well as an increased chance of having accidents,  becoming violent or attempting suicide.   Men over 65 should not have more than 1 (5 oz of wine) drink a day.

Talk with your doctor about your individual health benefits and risks associated with drinking red wine.  If you have a personal or family history of alcoholism, have liver or pancreas disease, have heart failure or a weak heart or take certain medications including a daily aspirin, you should avoid alcohol entirely.