Wine for Health?
lately have been promoting the results of a study suggesting that red
wine may have very important health benefits.
If you are looking for good news about bad habits, or a reason to
start drinking red wine, this has to be magical information for you!
online version of Nature
reported the results of a study that showed when resveratrol, an
ingredient from red wine, was fed to obese mice, their lifespan was
researchers studied 165 mice beginning at the age of 1 year, which is
equivalent to human middle age. 1/3
of them were given a healthy diet, 1/3 were given a diet high in
calories and fat, and 1/3 were fed a high-fat diet with the addition of
resveratrol. Both groups of
mice on the high-fat diet gained weight, but those getting the
resveratrol had better health outcomes.
Their livers remained normal size, while the control group’s
doubled in size, and heart tissue was healthier in the resveratrol
114 weeks of age, 58% of the animals consuming the high-fat diet had
died, while 42% of those on a normal diet or taking the supplement had
died. A spokesperson for
Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, a company founded by the lead research that is
conducting human trials on resveratrol and diabetes said, “the
molecule prevented most, if not all, of the side effects of being
you uncork the wine bottle, let’s insert some reality.
First, resveratrol is found in the skins of grapes, peanuts and
some berries. You do not
have to consume wine or supplements to get a healthy dose of it in your
the amount of resveratrol fed to the mice daily was the equivalent of
that found in 20 bottles of red wine – an amount you are unlikely to
consume. And, there has been
no research conducted to determine potential adverse effects of
consuming mega-doses of resveratrol over time.
“We have much to learn about resveratrol’s safety and
effectiveness in humans,” stated Dr. Richard Hodes, director of the
National Institute on Aging, which funded the study.
There is, however, considerable research documenting the negative
effects of carrying extra weight and consuming alcohol.
continue to pursue what I believe is misguided research – looking for
a magic bullet found in isolated nutrients that can have a positive
effect on health, while ignoring the bigger picture of the benefits of
dietary excellence, which have been proven in massive studies like The
the meantime, my advice about red wine is to enjoy it as an occasional
treat, if you like it. Remember,
that there should be a clear difference between the daily fare and
treats, and that the blurring of this distinction is one of the major
reasons people develop degenerative conditions.
Pam Popper is a naturopath, nutritionist and the Executive Director of The
Wellness Forum, a chain of licensed health and wellness centers
located throughout the