Rediscover the Medicinal Properties of Wine

Wine has always held a reputation for extending and enhancing the quality of life. Although, with the exception of folk healers, the medicinal powers of wine were lost within modern medicine.

In countries that have not suffered the effects of Prohibition as the U.S. has, wine is regarded as a food and a source of nutrition. Only in recent decades has the remarkable amount of research reflecting the health benefits of moderate wine consumption forced the medical profession in the U.S. to revise their stance against wine consumption.

The Framingham Heart Study, which was first begun in 1948 and encompasses three generations of participants, demonstrates that there are 50 percent fewer deaths from coronary disease among drinkers than non-drinkers.

According to studies, one of the natural substances in red and white grape wine associated with longevity, improved cardiovascular health, immune system enhancement and anti-cancer properties is resveratrol.  This constituent has been the subject of numerous studies and is most often associated with the health benefits of wine in the collective mind of the public.

A 2010 study on resveratol in red wine, conducted by John Hopkins University, indicates that it may shield the brain from stroke (“How Red Wine …”).  A study conducted at Kyoto University, shows how resveratol may have an effect on dopamine production that could be beneficial to those suffering from Parkinson’s disease (Okawara).   It is an anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, lowers blood sugar and protects the body from the effects of radiation.

Both red and white wine made from grapes have similar health-enhancing constituents.  These benefits seem to be greater for older people.  For example, a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society indicates that moderate wine consumption may lower the chances of developing macular degeneration (Obisesan 46:1-7).

Generally speaking, all wines induce relaxation, reduce anxiety, aid digestion and possess antibacterial properties. Furthermore, it imparts a sense of satisfaction that makes it a mood booster. Drinking a half glass of wine in the evening can be highly beneficial to quality sleep.

Wines each have their own healing properties based on the specific herbs or fruits involved in their manufacture. Some healing recipes use wine as way of preserving the beneficial qualities of certain fruits, while other remedies call for herbs to be steeped in grape wine to extract the active constituents. The fermentation process involved in the conversion of juice into wine further enhances its antioxidant properties many times over.

Wine also contains the powerful antioxidants quercetin and epicatechin.  Antioxidants help heart health by inhibiting the formation of cholesterol on the walls of the arteries.

But, the health benefits of wine may lie in other properties, as well, depending upon what was used in the wine’s manufacture.  For instance, the yeasts involved in the production of wine contain their own nutrients:  “Magnesium sulfate, thiamine, folic acid, niacin, biotin and calcium pantothenate.”

Modern science has finally “discovered” the truth handed down through antiquity: Enjoy wine in moderation and have a healthier, more satisfying and longer life.

How Red Wine May Shield Brain from Stroke Damage: Researchers Discover Pathway in Mice for Resveratrol’s Apparent Protective Effect, Science Daily, April 21, 2010.  Retrieved on May 15, 2010.

Okawara, Mitsugi, Hiroship Katsuki, Emi Kurimoto, Haruki Shibata, Toshiaki Kume, Akinori Akaike, “Resveratrol protects dopaminergic neurons in midbrain slice culture from multiple insults,”  Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University.  Retrieved on May 15, 2010.

Obisesan Tom, Hirsch R, Kosoko O, et al.  Moderate wine consumption is associated with decreased odds in developing age-related macular degeneration in NHANES-1. Journal of the American Geriatric Society 1998; 46:1-7.  Retrieved on May 15, 2010.

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