Benefits of Red Wine for Physical and Mental Health

The benefits of red wine are numerous; It has antioxidant power, helps reduce depression, prevents breast cancer, dementia and prostate cancer, and other nutritional properties that I will mention below.

Red wine has long been considered an alcoholic beverage with certain health benefits. Many believe that drinking a glass every day is part of a healthy diet, while others believe that red wine has been a bit overrated.

Scientific evidence has always shown that moderate red wine contributes to reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, there is a very fine line between moderate and excessive consumption.

What is a moderate consumption of red wine?

It is said that the "moderate consumption" of red wine is good for health. But how much is a "moderate" consumption of wine?

The amount of wine recommended depends on many factors; the contexture of the person, age, sex, body height and the general state of health, as well as if you drink red wine with food or on an empty stomach.

Women absorb alcohol faster than men due to the lower water content of their body and different levels of enzymes in the stomach. Therefore, moderate wine consumption is a smaller amount for women than for men.

According to the "American Dietary Guide 2010," published by the United States Department of Agriculture, "if alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation - up to one glass a day for women and two glasses a day for men." .

What are the benefits of drinking wine for health?

Before mentioning these benefits, it is important to note that they have been proven when consumption is moderate.

1- Reduce the risk of depression

A team from several universities published in a Medicine magazine that wine consumption can reduce the risk of depression.

The researchers collected data on 2,683 men and 2,822 women between the ages of 55 and 80 over a period of seven years. Participants had to complete a questionnaire that included details about their alcohol consumption, and their mental health.

The authors found that men and women who drank two to seven glasses of wine a week were less likely to be diagnosed with depression.

Even after taking into account lifestyle factors that could influence their results, the risk of developing depression remained significantly lower.

2- Delays aging

The monks believed that wine slowed the aging process, today scientists do too.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School reported that red wine has anti-aging properties. Lead researcher David Sinclair argues that "resveratrol improved the health of mice that were following a high-fat diet and increased their life expectancy."

Their findings, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, was the first convincing evidence of the definitive relationship between the anti-aging properties of resveratrol and the SIRT1 gene.

Resveratrol is the compound responsible for this beneficial effect. It is found on the skin of red grapes, blueberries, berries and nuts.

The anti-aging properties of red wine have been known for over a thousand years. Monasteries across Europe were convinced that the lives of the monks were longer, compared to the rest of the population, and that it was partly due to moderate and regular wine consumption.

A study conducted at the University of London found that procyanidins, compounds commonly found in red wine, maintain healthy blood vessels and are one of the factors that contribute to a longer life, as is the case with the people of Sardinia and the southwest of France.

The researchers also found that traditionally made red wine has much higher levels of procyanidins than other wines.

3- Prevents breast cancer

Sustained consumption of a large part of alcoholic beverages increases the risk of breast cancer. However, the intake of red wine has the opposite effect, according to the findings of researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Chemicals in the skins and seeds of red grapes reduce estrogen levels, while increasing testosterone in premenopausal women, which translates into a lower risk of developing breast cancer. Not only red wine has beneficial compounds, but its raw material, red grape. 

4- Prevents dementia

Researchers at the Loyola University Medical Center found that moderate consumption of red wine may contribute to the decreased risk of developing dementia.

In this study, the researchers conducted a collection and analysis of data on academic research on red wine from 1977. The studies, which spanned 19 nations, showed a statistically significant lower risk of dementia among red wine drinkers of regular and moderate way in 14 countries.

The researchers explained that resveratrol reduces the viscosity of blood platelets, which helps keep blood vessels open and flexible. This helps maintain a good blood supply to the brain.

The principal investigator, Professor Edward J. Neafsey said that moderate red wine drinkers had a 23% lower risk of developing dementia compared to people who rarely or never consumed the alcoholic beverage.

5- Protects against severe sunburn

Wine and grape derivatives can help reduce the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation, according to scientists from the University of Barcelona, in Spain, in the journal of Food and Agricultural Chemistry.

The researchers concluded that flavonoids, which are found in wine and grapes, inhibit the formation of reactive oxygen species in sun- exposed skin .

6- Prevents diseases that cause blindness

According to scientists from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, red wine can stop the process called angiogenesis (opening of new blood vessels in the eye area), which leads to the development of blindness.

Diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness among Americans over 50, are caused by this angiogenesis in the eye.

The researchers explained that resveratrol is the compound that contains the wine that protects vision.

7- Protects against damage after stroke

Red wine can protect the brain from stroke damage, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Professor Sylvain Doré believes that red wine resveratrol increases heme oxygenase levels, an enzyme known to protect nerve cells from damage to the brain. When someone suffers a stroke, the brain is prepared to protect itself because of rising levels of enzymes.

8- Improves lung function and prevents lung cancer

Dutch scientists reported on a study that examined the effects of resveratrol, red wine and white wine on lung function.

They found that:

  • Red wine is good for lung function
  • White wine is also good for lung function

One member of the study concluded "the beneficial effects on lung function are probably related to many compounds present in wine, and not just with resveratrol."

On the other hand, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, the intake of red wine can reduce the risk of lung cancer.

9- Increase levels of omega-3 fatty acids

Wine is better than other alcoholic beverages to increase the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in plasma and red blood cells, according to the IMMIDIET study with the participation of European researchers from various countries.

The study examined 1,604 adults from London, Abruzzo (Italy), and Limburg (Belgium). All underwent a complete medical examination with a general practitioner and also completed an annual consumption frequency questionnaire that included details of their eating habits.

They found that moderate wine drinkers had higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are generally derived from fish consumption. It is known that omega-3 fatty acids protect against coronary heart disease.

The scientists found that wine consumption acts as a trigger, increasing levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the body.

10- Prevents liver disease

A study conducted at the University of California, San Diego, concluded that moderate wine consumption reduces the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by half, compared to people who never drank wine. His finding challenged conventional thinking about alcohol consumption and liver health.

The researchers reported in the journal Hepatology that moderate beer or liquor drinkers were at four times the risk of contracting non-alcoholic fatty liver disease compared to wine drinkers.

11- Protects against prostate cancer

Seattle researchers examined general alcohol consumption and found no relationship to the risk of getting prostate cancer.

However, when they went a step further and analyzed the different alcoholic beverages, a clear association between the consumption of red wine and a lower risk of prostate cancer was identified.

Even moderate consumption of red wine (one glass per week) reduced the risk of prostate cancer in men by 6%, the authors reported.

12- Prevents type 2 diabetes

In an experiment with animals, scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered that resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance is the most important critical factor that contributes to the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Researchers reported in the journal Cell Metabolism that resveratrol also increased the levels of the SIRT1 enzyme, which improves insulin sensitivity in mice.

The study leader, Qiwei Zhai said that red wine may have some benefits for insulin sensitivity, but this must be confirmed in later studies.

And what other benefits of red wine do you know? comment below. Do share this information with you friends to bring more awareness. 

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