Spill the Wine and Enjoy a Long, Healthy and Happy Life
“contributed by , Jennifer Hewson”
The myth that everything that tastes good is bad for you, has finally been busted, at least when it comes to two things: dark chocolate and wine, surely the two products most people would take with them if they had to spend considerable time on a deserted island. Dark chocolate has been found to be rich in antioxidants while the secret behind the life-giving potency of wine, lies in resveratrol, a powerful polyphenol housing a mystery that scientists are only beginning to unravel. In this post, we present some of the most interesting recent findings on wine, so open a bottle of your favorite red while you read up on why wine can be so wonderful for your health.
- Wine keeps Type II diabetes at bay: The resveratrol content of red wine activates a protein known as SIRT1, which promotes insulin sensitivity, thereby keeping Type II diabetes at bay. Scientists are currently studying how to better use SIRT1 to prevent the many diseases linked to insulin resistance and diabetes.
- Wine promotes heart health: The resveratrol in red wine stimulates the production of Endothelial Progenitor Cells (EPCs), which protect the lining of blood vessels. Those who have heart disease who possess sound levels of these cells have lesser risk of recurring heart attacks and improved chances of recovery. A moderate consumption of wine has also been shown to increase levels of ‘good cholesterol’ and to lower levels of ‘bad cholesterol’, and resveratrol also reduces congestive heart failure-related complications. It is vital so stress the importance of moderation and commonsense, since excessive consumption of alcohol can have counter-effects, including addiction. In addition to enjoying a glass or two of wine on a daily basis, we should also make positive lifestyle decisions, making time for regular physical activity and consuming wine as part of a Mediterranean diet, with its focus on heart-healthy Omega-3 fats, seasonal produce and healthy grains. High-salt, high-sugar and processed foods should be avoided.
- Wine may help stave off cancer: Studies have shown that resveratrol helps control the body’s immune response by binding with estrogen receptors without causing estrogen cells to proliferate; the finding is significant because it is known that high levels of estrogen increase the risk of cancer. One of the most promising studies on resveratrol and cancer showed that men could reduce their risk of falling prey to prostate cancer by 60 per cent by simply drinking one glass of red wine every day.
- Wine can help keep obesity at bay: A study carried out on a group of men showed that resveratrol intake was linked to a reduction in the size of fat cells, and to greater immunity and regulation of inflammatory responses.
- Resveratrol and bone density: A recent study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism revealed that resveratrol had the power to increase bone density in men suffering from metabolic syndrome. The researchers noted that their finding held great promise for the possible use of resveratrol in combatting osteoporosis. The lead author of the study noted: “In just four months on high-dose resveratrol, we saw significant improvements in bone mineral density at the spine and elevated levels of the bone formation marker, Bone Alkaline Phosphate (BAP).”
- Resveratrol may aid in Alzheimer’s disease: A study carried out in September, 2014 at the University of Barcelona showed that the activation of the protein, SIRT1 via resveratrol intake, had neuro-protective effects on mice suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The mice were fed resveratrol for 10 months and at the end of the study period, its effects on cognitive function and neuronal tissues were compared with a control group that was not fed resveratrol. Scientists found that the resveratrol group had improved short-term memory, and that the powerful polyphenol had halted the process of senile plaque accumulation and the development of tau protein (these characteristics are strongly present in those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease).
- Wine makes you happier: One of the most fascinating recent studies on wine, carried out at the University of Navarra, in Spain, found that drinking between two and seven glasses of wine a week could help keep depression at bay. The study was large-scale; i.e. it involved 5,500 participants aged 55 to 80. Researchers found that those who consumed a low-to-moderate amount of wine had a third the risk of having depression as those who did not drink at all. Lead author of the study, Professor Miguel Martínez-González, noted that depression and cardiovascular disease share the same mechanisms; a major causative factor for both conditions is inflammation, a process which is kept at bay by wonderful resveratrol.