Now medical science is reaching the conclusion of what many cultures throughout history have known. A little wine is good for the infirmity. Learn of wine's many health benefits -- and negative side effects as well.
Back in the 1rst century, the Apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul of Tarsus, sent a letter to his beloved disciple Timothy. In it he referred to the fact that “a little wine is good for the infirmity”. Infirmity, in this case translated illness.
New Living Translation (©2007) I Timothy 5:23
“Don't drink only water. You ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach because you are sick so often”.
Since that Letter was written, it is now coming to light by medical science that indeed, there are certain elements in wine, antioxidants, that will bring definite health benefits for certain illnesses -- when taken in moderation. (1)
Extremely rich in resveratrol and flavonoids, these particular antioxidants are abundant in the skin, leaf, stem and seeds of the grape fruit moreso than in the pulp itself. Further scientific research now establishes that depending on the color of the grape, (red, purple, white or green), the geographical origin and how it is grown in the vineyards and later processed, thus goes the amount of antioxidants found in the fruit. However, it is in red wines that the level of resveratrol increases to greater amounts.
Yes, a little wine has many health benefits but before we examine those, just how much is a little wine? Once again, the Bible stresses that moderation is the key to many things in life. However, drinking to drunkeness is positively condemned.
Unfortunately, what is moderation for one does not necessarily translate into moderation for another. Certain sources believe that a little wine is the equivalent of two 5 oz. glasses of wine for men and one glass for women daily. (2) However, no one seems to know who created these parameters.
Health Benefits of A Little Wine
- Good cholesterol and blood clots: Well documented research points to a little wine being capable of raising the good cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) and thin one’s blood preventing blood clots. In addition, resveratrol has been found to generate anti-thrombotic chemicals that can potentially lower risks of coronary attacks.
- Atherosclerosis: A little wine has been shown to prevent the initiation/progression of atherosclerosis.
- Hypertension: While large amounts of alcohol are considered a risk factor for hypertension, a little wine taken with meals can lower post-meal blood pressure in many persons.
- Kidney stones: there is a propensity for reduction of kidney stone formations.
- Alzheimer: a little wine consumption correlates with a lower risk for Alzheimer's disease as researchers discovered that resveratrol, produces neuroprotective agents.
Negative Health Side Effects of Drinking Wine
Wine, however, is not for everyone. Certain medical conditions are worsened by the consumption of wine, so it’s vital to ask the advice of one's physician.
- High Triglycerides: There may be an elevation of triglyceride levels, which is correlated to diabetes.
- Breast Cancer Risk: There may be an increase of estrogen levels and raise tumor progression in women with (or at high risk for) breast cancer.
- Migraines: Many times a trigger for migraine sufferers, red wine can be a larger trigger for those who have this propensity.
- Weight Gain: Wine has empty calories -- calories that lack nutrients and promote weight gain.
- Diabetes: to drink or not to drink wine. The American Diabetes Association makes these precautionary statements. (4)
- “If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount and have it with food. Talk with your health care team about whether alcohol is safe for you”.
- “Drink alcohol with a snack or meal. Some good snack ideas are pretzels, popcorn, crackers, fat-free or baked chips, raw vegetables and a low-fat yogurt dip”.
- “Drink only when and if blood glucose is under control. Do not omit food from your regular meal plan”.
The question now arises, do grapes have to be made into wine alcohol in order to provide the same health benefits? The answer is no. In addition to the juice of the grape, any one of other grape products, including resveratrol now sold as a supplement, offer health benefits. These include dealcoholized wine, grape powder and extracts -- and yes, the whole grape itself.
Therefore, bearing in mind that a little, I repeat, a little wine is good for the infirmity, care should be taken not to over indulge by any means nor drink alcohol if not accustomed to it . A little wine does have many health benefits -- let us keep them healthy.
(1) Article Martha Grogan, M.D. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-and-nutrition/AN00576
Written by Beverly Anne Sanchez, Jan. 4, 2012