Besides making you feel more chill and jovial, wine has many other benefits. Studies have linked the health benefits that come from wine consumption such as lowering the mortality rate in people and reducing the risks of high blood pressure because of the magical flavonoid compounds found in the grapes.
According to the American Heart Association, people who drink wine have a 34 percent lower mortality rate than beer or spirits drinkers. "Research is being done to find out what the apparent benefits of drinking wine or alcohol in some populations may be due to, including the role of antioxidants, an increase in HDL ("good") cholesterol or anti-clotting properties."
People are taking this at face value. No wonder wine sales are up. One vineyard owner in Spain credited wine in remaining healthy. Antonio Docampo García drank red wine until he died at the age of 107. He drank 4 bottles a day without provocation. We are not advocating that you drink that many bottles of wine per day! Maybe he paid attention to a CBS "60 Minutes" report that found that the French were living longer because of their consumption of red wine.
We will explore some key points to see if drinking red wine increases your lifespan. Maybe Mr. García was onto something that we don't know, or maybe all this hype is hokum.
Here are some points to consider.
There is a contradiction.
We will start with the bad news. According to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, researchers found no link in drinking red wine and it reducing the mortality rate. Researchers sampled 783 Italians who were the age of 65 and older of the Aging in the Chianti Region study. "Researchers tested their urine samples for resveratrol, then followed up and unfortunately, they found no association between resveratrol metabolite levels and cardiovascular disease," Women's Health reported. The study also found no evidence that wine benefits those people who took part in the study 9 years later. The study also claimed that the resveratrol found in dark chocolate and other foods failed to reduce death rates.
More studies need to be done.
To every naysayer, there is a person that believes that vino is good for you. Women's Health interviewed Dr. Melina Jampolis, who said that the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine report doesn't tell the entire story. The reason is 9 years doesn't reveal if wine combats ailments as diseases like cancer can develop over decades. "Nutrients don't work in isolation," she told the publication. "Just looking at one and at certain health endpoints in a relatively short period of time."
Resveratrol is absorbed slowly.
Resveratrol is a component in red wine and is believed to curb heart disease and other ailments. The Mayo Clinic noted that resveratrol protects cells from being damaged by free radicals. Some animal studies showed that resveratrol can protect the blood vessels from damage, reduce the risk of high blood sugar and prevent blood clots. Harvard University found that when they gave rodents resveratrol, it increased their lifespan up to 25 percent. But the World Health Organization found that there is little evidence to prove that people are getting enough of the resveratrol found in wine since it is so limited. If you wanted to get enough of resveratrol, you would have to drink an estimated 2-3 bottles of red wine a day! Something all of us might not want to think about!
What are these polyphenols?
Red wine is a good source of polyphenols, a compound believed to offer an array of health benefits. Polyphenols are abundant in antioxidants that can fight off free radicals from the environment. Polyphenols are credited to be able to reduce the risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Also the dryer the wine the more polyphenols that they have. The number of polyphenols in a wine depends on the grapes and how ripens over time. Pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, petit syrah and pinot noir are wines with the highest amount of polyphenols. Other foods that contain this benefit are celery seeds, dark chocolate, cloves, Mexican oregano and Star anise.
Wine can trick the body.
We learned that resveratrol in red wine is good for the body, but did you know it may trick the body into thinking it is getting fewer calories? Many studies found that a low-fat and low-calorie diet could contribute to a longer life. "The result observed in the resveratrol-fed mice mimicked those often seen with caloric restriction — the practice of cutting 20 percent 30 percent of calories out of one's typical diet in an effort to improve health and prolong life, " WebMD shared. Public Library of Science One suggested that drinking red wine could offer the same benefits of being on a low-calorie diet. Drinking red wine does have many benefits, but as far as it giving us a longer life--we don't know for sure.
There are many factors that contribute to a long life. Eating a healthy diet, making healthy lifestyle choices and your family history all play a role in our longevity. Sorting through all the findings can be confusing. What we do know is there is efficacy to the growing research and studies. However, excessive alcohol consumption is counterproductive no matter what the advantages are. It causes damage to the heart, liver and to the brain. When it comes to immortality, take a step back and be skeptical, but be open minded. Until then, raise a glass and drink a glass of wine. If we don't live until we are 107, at least we can be happy and enjoy a glass with a meal or after work. Perhaps this was the reason García truly drank red wine.