An important update re Wine’s (many) health benefits

The 31 May 2009 edition of the US wine publication Wine Spectator focused on ‘the healing power of wine’ as cover story.  It is really a very interesting read and consolidates the health benefits of wine well.  If you subscribe to Wine Spectator you will be able to get the full story in print or online.

The articles highlight that studies have proven that moderate wine consumption may:

  • Benefit the heart, by improving circulation and overall heart health;
  • Benefit the brain by delaying dementia;
  • Prevent arthritis;
  • Reduce the threat of the common cold;
  • Lower the risk of diabetes;
  • Reduce the risk of throat cancer;
  • Help deeper sleep by maximizing melatonin levels in the brain;
  • Aid in the production of Omega-3 fatty acids in the body and
  • Is good for those on diet as the typical glass of win only contains 3.82gr of carbohydrates!

The articles also cover the much debated issue of what causes headaches for some after drinking wine. This is obviously for causes other than too many bottles of wine! The finding is that the much maligned sulfides and histamines in wine are unlikely to be the cause, as they appear in many other popular foods in much higher levels.

One of the most interesting articles, deals with how some of the ingredients in wine can help us live longer, in better health. I think the research into the impact of resveratrol and other polyphenols is extremely interesting and likely to capture the most attention going forward.

The US wine market grew dramatically after the famous 60-Minutes television program that focused on the so-called ‘French Paradox’ in 1991. Why do the French (and Italians for that matter) have much lower rates of heart disease despite all of the smoking, cheeses, duck livers, bread, beef and relatively little exercise?

The global market for wine will really take off as more people become aware of the many benefits of regular, moderate wine consumption. If we had a more concerted effort to drive the generic marketing of wine, we could accelerate that. I will drink to that!