WINE HAS a number of beneficial effects on the body if consumed in moderation, and often, along with meals. These benefits reach the digestive, cardiovascular and nervous systems. The weak point of wine is that it has alcohol in it. Ingested at low doses, alcohol has no toxicity, but the effects of its abuse (alcoholism) are well known and catastrophic. Therefore, this section must be preceded by this quote of Hippocrates: “Wine is something wonderfully appropriate for man, in both health and illness, if given in informed and measured doses according to the constitution of each individual.”
The recommendations vary from country to country, but in general, to obtain the benefits that wine offers without any disadvantages, consumption should not exceed three glasses a day for men (12 oz.) and two for women (8.5 oz.). As many of the virtues of wine are linked to its polyphenol content, it should preferably be red wine.
Wine and cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular diseases in developed countries are the leading cause of natural death (a high intake of saturated fats is strongly correlated with this fact). However, from one country to another, there are important variations, depending on whether the studied population consumed wine or not (like the “French Paradox,” a study from the 1980s which revealed that in certain areas of France where people ate very fatty foods but drank lots of red wine along with them, the rate of high cholesterol in the population and mortality from cardiovascular causes were strangely low).
There are many studies supporting the protective role of wine in the face of heart disease. Its beneficial influence is based on the fact that it regulates and moderately reduces cholesterol while at the same time improving blood circulation.
Wine and the nervous system. Results of the latest research show a relationship between the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (and other senile dementias) and regular consumption of wine: Moderate drinkers have a 75% lower prevalence of this disease than nondrinkers.
Wine and the digestive system. Wine aids digestion and has antiseptic properties. This is a commonly known fact, and if you have not experienced it firsthand, try eating roast lamb while drinking water instead of wine. Of course, those who suffer from or have a problem with heartburn should avoid the intake of wine.
Wine and cancer. The experiments carried out on animals showed that resveratrol, a molecule found in wine, limits the development of cancer. Today, research continues on this new path.