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Is Wine Healthy or Do Wine Drinkers Have Healthier Lifestyle

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Is Wine Healthy or Do Wine Drinkers Have Healthier Lifestyle
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i got dubu.

Joined: 18 Jul 2010
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Post Is Wine Healthy or Do Wine Drinkers Have Healthier Lifestyle Reply with quote
By June Russell

When compared to beer or liquor drinkers, and even non-drinkers, those who happen to drink wine have lifestyles that are healthier. Wine drinkers are thinner and have more normal weights, they exercise more, smoke less, have a higher intake of fruits, vegetables and salads, have a higher education and socio-economic status, eat less saturated fat (fewer servings of red or fried meats) and more fiber, have normal cholesterols, drink less alcohol, often work in white collar jobs and are in better health than the rest of the population. Those individuals who drink wine also happen to be more well adjusted, less neurotic and depressed, and have a higher I.Q. These many lifestyle factors that account for improved health make the use of wine no longer significant.

The Copenhagen City Heart Study, which looked at Danes' drinking habits in the late 1970s, may have been particularly vulnerable to socio-economic skewing. At the time, wine drinking was just starting to catch on in a traditionally beer-drinking nation, and was probably limited to the upper classes even more than now, argues Dr. Erik Mortensen of the Institute of Preventive Medicine of Copenhagen, leader of the Danish study.

Nutrition experts at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say that red wine is associated with the Mediterranean diet, a diet that is recommended for lowering heart disease and some forms of cancer. However, this diet is rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, the primary fat is olive oil, and meat is used sparingly - often coming from fish. Although wine may be served with meals, the real benefit is from the overall diet itself, not necessarily the wine that may go along with it.

Dr. June Reinisch, from the Danish Epidemiology Science Center in Copenhagen, was the author of a Danish study that showed wine drinkers were greatly associated with other factors beside the wine. "It's not a cause-and-effect situation; it is a correlation of lifestyle and intelligence with healthy behavior. If you are upper class, it usually means that not only did your mother have good nutrition, but your grandmother had good nutrition, and we have data that shows that I.Q. is related to your mother's and grandmother's nutrition as well."

Even though the "sick-quitter" phenomenon can bias results in favor of current drinkers ("sick-quitters" being those who previously used alcohol but quit because of health problems), abstainers have been shown in previous studies to have higher disease and death rates than moderate drinkers. The negative health and lifestyle factors among the abstaining subjects include more diabetes, a lower intake of fruits and vegetables and vitamin E, higher rates of smoking and more red meat consumption, contributing to making their trans- and saturated fat intake greater than alcohol consuming groups.

This research is not new, as more than 10 years ago, Arthur Klatsky, M.D., a researcher with Kaiser Permanente's cardiology division in Oakland, California, and a pioneer in studies on how alcohol can help the heart, found that those who preferred wine as opposed to beer or hard liquor are likely to be women, young or middle-aged, nonsmokers, better educated and healthier. However, Dr. Klatsky made the comment in a JAMA editorial that moderate drinking may not be so good for the rest of the body, and 'unresolved issues' include its effects on breast cancer, fetal defects and colon cancer.

Dr. Ira Goldberg, a member of the American Heart Association's Nutrition Committee, stated in the New England Journal of Medicine (2002), that without data from clinical trials it is unclear how to advise the public about the use of alcohol; however, the toxicity of alcohol is well established. We do know alcohol (red wine) does not reliably reduce atherosclerosis in animals he added. On the American Heart web site we are told that the heart protective benefits of red wine remain uncertain.

Several years ago the 'French Paradox' was disproved by the World Health Organization (and others) because of faulty data, and the media press releases regularly maximize any supposed benefit of drinking wine, and minimize, or omit, the dangers mentioned by the researchers or other medical experts. All of these factors, including the fact that many of the subjects in the studies are white and middle-aged, correlate with less heart disease and longer life-spans, suggesting that individuals who drink wine for health reasons has no practical significance.

The harm from the alcohol in wine is dose related - that is, higher amounts cause more damage, but light and moderate amounts also have risks. Alcohol is a tumor promoter and any amount increases the risk of cancer says the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). In 2000, our government declared alcoholic beverages to be a class "A" human carcinogen, along with arsenic, asbestos, tobacco, etc., and even in smaller amounts can: compromise brain functioning (increasing the risk of accidents), interfere with medications, increase stress (alcohol does not produce true relaxation, it tranquilizes or drugs the drinker), cause the body to store more calories as fat, interfere with sleep, increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, triglycerides, and is a risk to the fetus of a pregnant woman.

Alcohol is toxic to the liver, aggravates allergies, worsens fatigue, can negate a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and the presence of alcohol hastens the breakdown of antioxidants in the blood, speeding their elimination from the body. The medical literature advises the public to avoid alcohol for almost every health problem - and as a way to prevent health problems.

The alcohol's presence in wine increases free radicals, which cause damage to blood vessels tissues - dampening any of the benefits that red wine's antioxidants may offer, says Dr. John Foltz, researcher at the University of Wisconsin. Purple grape juice can give the benefits without the intoxicating effects, as grape juice contains more resveratrol, a supposed cholesterol lowering substance, than most red wine. Grape juice improves the function of the cells in blood vessel linings more efficiently than wine.

Andrew Weil, M.D., internationally recognized expert on health, suggests that grape juice may prove to be healthier than wine because a study found that after drinking nonalcoholic wine, the catechin, an antioxidant flavonoid, remained for almost an hour longer in the blood than when drinking the alcoholic wine. His added comment was that although grape juice doesn't appear to boost your HDL, regular aerobic exercise can be added. Exercise, diet (including fruits and vegetables), and meditation are safer ways to improve one's health without the added risks when drinking wine.

Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:11 pm View user's profile Send private message
got dubu?

Joined: 27 Nov 2011
Posts: 4
Location: San Jose

Post This is interesting Reply with quote
As a copious wine drinker, I think a lot of wine's proclaimed "healthiness" comes from the fact that many wine drinkers do live more healthy lifestyles. It's more of a drink to go with a nice dinner rather than shooters chased with lime. It also makes me kinda sleepy, so I tend to sleep earlier. Overall, I would say most of my fellow winos lead pretty healthy lifestyles (vegans, vegetarians, gym bunnies), but that may also just be 'cause I' in the Bay Area.
Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:19 am View user's profile Send private message
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