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Health Benefits of Red Wine

Since the early 1990s, the news media has been full of reports about the health benefits of red wine. However, it can be difficult for wine drinkers to sort out the facts from the hype. There have been numerous scientific studies into this issue, and the results can help you understand whether moderate consumption of red wine really might help improve your health.

Improved Heart Health

One of red wine’s most famous health benefits is its effect on heart health. A study published in the journal Nature found that red wine consumption is indeed linked to lower risk of inflammation and coronary artery disease, as well as a reduced chance of dying from a heart attack. It also found that red wine produced according to traditional methods that maximize the amount of resveratrol and flavanoids in the wine is even better than other varieties at improving heart health.

The American Heart Association conducted a review of the literature on this topic and found that moderate consumption of red wine, defined as one to two glasses per day, could reduce a person’s risk of a heart attack by about 20%. Red wine decreases LDL (the bad cholesterol) and increases HDL (the good cholesterol).

Slower Aging and Potentially Increased Lifespan

You may have heard the claim that something in red wine slows aging and can increase lifespan. There have been a number of studies on this topic in recent years.

According to a review of the literature published in Heart Failure Reviews, several studies have proven that the resveratrol in particular can actually turn on the expression of certain genes linked to longevity. It can also reduce some of the damage caused by the natural aging process, particularly as it concerns the heart. However, in studies with mice, resveratrol didn’t prolong the mice’s lives. Although longer lifespan is associated with red wine consumption in certain regions of France, more research is needed to determine the extent to which the human lifespan is affected.

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