Is the Proof in the Wineglass?
So, are the French slender and do they have better heart health because they drink red wine? Is the instance of heart disease less than that of the U.S. or France’s European neighbors? Science demands proof, so there have been a number of studies on the French Paradox. The facts uncovered are what scientists call “equivocal,” that is, they both support and dispute the French paradox.
· The World Health Organization collected statistics from 1990–2000 which suggest that the incidence of heart disease in France may have been underestimated, and may in fact be similar to that of neighboring countries. In other words, maybe there is no actual paradox! · Resveratrol, a component in red wine, has been touted for its amazing health benefits, but a 2003 study showed that red wine drinkers absorb such a small amount of resveratrol that it is unlikely to have much effect.
· Red wine also contains polyphenols, also known as oligomeric procyanidins. Polyphenols are believed to offer a great degree of protection to human blood-vessel cells. Grapes with the highest concentrations of procyanidins are found in southwest France. However, procyanidins are also found in other sources, such as a red delicious apple (which has enough procyanidins to equal two small glasses of red wine).