We’ve got good news for those who are looking for a better explanation to why they drink so much wine other than “because it tastes good”.
Medical experts across all kinds of scientific fields are confirming that red wine (i.e., “adult grape juice”) can offer powerful benefits that lead to better health.
Now, this belief alone is not exactly cutting-edge news. People have known about red wine’s health benefits for a while now. But health experts are now revealing a big twist that concerns adults over the age of 85.
It turns out, if you’re over 85 and regularly sip wine, you may experience a reduced risk of heart issues and even cognitive problems.
A recent study by researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, followed a group of test participants and tracked them for 29 years.
And the results of the study showed that those who took in at least one glass of wine a day had a significantly lower decline in cognitive health.
“This study shows that moderate drinking may be part of a healthy lifestyle to maintain cognitive fitness in aging," said lead author of the study Erin L. Richard.
This is not a PSA that you all should start drinking --just a note saying that what you do drink isn't necessarily as bad as we first thought.
So What Exactly Does Wine Do To Your Body?
In short, what wine does for you and your body is dilate, or open up, your body’s blood pathways. It relaxes your veins and arteries and makes it easier for your blood to circulate through your body, which is what leads you to having that warm feeling overcome large portions of your body. It’s a result of your blood moving at an easier and quicker pace. Easier circulation means less stress on your body’s organs.
Past that, it’s technically “fruit juice”. It’s made from grapes that are simply crushed and fermented with minimal outside flavorings added. This natural phenomenon is what leads to your body’s HDL cholesterol reducing.
It’s Red Wine in Particular that Boasts the Most Benefits.
The benefits of red wine start with its core ingredient -- grapes.
Grapes, especially the grapes used to produce red wine, are abundant in a chemical compound known as polyphenols. Polyphenols, on their own, are powerful free radical-fighting agents that when introduced into your body, are believed to effectively combat a wide slew of negative ailments, from clouded thinking, to even some cancers ailments.
Unfortunately for white wine lovers, only red is a bringer of big benefits. The process that white wine goes through reduces the compounds found in the grapes that transfer over into red wine.
Despite the Benefits, Drink Responsibly.
Still, drinking in moderation is still highly recommended. Overdoing it cancels out the positive effects with the negative.
“...it is not appropriate to recommend that abstainers initiate drinking.” writes the authors of the original study. “However, among those who choose to consume alcohol, regular, moderate drinking may play a role in promoting cognitively healthy longevity.”
No matter what you're tipping back: happy hour just got even happier.
Wang Z, et al. "Effects Of Red Wine And Wine Polyphenol Resveratrol On Platelet Aggregation In Vivo And In Vitro” International Journal of Molecular Medicine. 2002.
Richard E., Kritz-Silverstein D., Laughlin G., et al. “Alcohol Intake and Cognitively Healthy Longevity in Community-Dwelling Adults: The Rancho Bernardo Study”. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2017.
Lukić, Igor et al. “Phenolic and Aroma Composition of White Wines Produced by Prolonged Maceration and Maturation in Wooden Barrels.” Food Technology and Biotechnology. 2015.
Zhou, Yue et al. "Natural Polyphenols For Prevention And Treatment Of Cancer." Nutrients. 2016.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with questions regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read here. This article is for general information only.