In vino veritas: health benefits and harms of red wine

Is red wine healthy or not? A question from a series of rhetorical. In research on the topic, one can find compelling arguments both “against” and “for” the regular consumption of wine in moderation.

This discussion is fueled by all new scientific research. So, more recently, the Huffington Post published the results of a study according to which a glass of red wine a day was equal to an hour spent in the gym. True or false - we answer the main questions.

Is it true that a glass of wine equals an hour of training?

Not true. This is a reference to a 2012 study in which scientist Jason Dyck tested the effects of the wine chemical resveratrol on laboratory rats. He found that resveratrol - a natural phytoalexin secreted by some plants as a defense against parasites - increased all indicators of rodent health. However, it is important to understand that the dose of resveratrol administered to rats was dozens of times higher than the amount of the substance contained in a glass of wine. Alas and ah: the benefits should be sought not in alcohol, but still in regular exercise.

Is it true that wine helps burn fat?

Perhaps, but only some of its varieties. In February 2015, a team of researchers at Oregon State University linked the rare red wine to weight loss, noting that the study's findings did not apply to other varieties. The secret is in a certain type of tartaric acid - ellagic acid, which, as experiments have shown, can slow down the creation of fat cells in the liver and speed up metabolic function in general.

However, ellagic acid is present in only one type of grape called Red Muscat, which grows in Georgia and Southeast Asia. It is also worth bearing in mind that most producers supply sweetened wine to the market that, even when used with the right grapes, loses its dietary benefits. The container in which the wine is stored also affects the content of ellagic acid: in particular, wine in oak barrels boasts a high content of it.

Is wine good for heart health?

Rather yes than no. In a 2014 study, Czech scientists were able to prove that regular consumption of red wine increases the level of "good cholesterol" (HDL) in the blood, which in turn reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Interestingly, this effect was not related to whether the participants chose red or white wine, but solely with the amount in the diet (no more than half a glass) and the frequency of consumption (2 to 4 times a week).

A glass of wine a day will protect against a stroke

Does wine have anti-cancer benefits?

Maybe, but more research is needed. There are several important types of antioxidants in wines that can fight cancer. For example, the same ellagic acid, which, according to a 2014 study, has powerful preventive and therapeutic effects on several types of cancer cells, including colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer and esophageal cancer. In any case, it is too early to speak about final conclusions.

Does red wine lower blood pressure?

Non-alcoholic red wine yes, but traditional wine no. Non-alcoholic red wine has appeared on the domestic market relatively recently, but we advise you to pay attention to it now. The fact is that it is in the non-alcoholic version of the familiar drink that polyphenols are contained, which protect cells from premature aging and lower total blood cholesterol levels.

Does this mean that classic red wine is completely useless in this sense? Not really. In 2012, a study was conducted, the results of which showed that both non-alcoholic and regular red wine reduced blood pressure levels. However, the effect of the first drink is several times stronger - and this should be taken into account.