Do you enjoy a good Pinot Noir from the rolling hills of Oregon? Willamette valley in Oregan makes some of the best Pinot Noirs in the world. How about a Barberra from Italy? Can you age like fine wine while drinking red wine? Is red wine good for you? There are a lot of opinions circulating. Let's explore.
What Are the Health Benefits of Resveratrol?
A key ingredient in red wine called resveratrol may have benefits for the heart. Resveratrol is found in more then 70 different plants including grapes' skin and seeds.In an article published in the National Library of Medicine in 2018 called Resveratrol: A Double-Edged Sword in Health Benefits, the authors note that "Resveratrol also exhibit antitumor activity, and is considered a potential candidate for prevention and treatment of several types of cancer. Indeed, resveratrol anticancer properties have been confirmed by many in vitro and in vivo studies, which shows that resveratrol is able to inhibit all carcinogenesis stages (e.g., initiation, promotion and progression). Even more, other bioactive effects, namely as anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, cardioprotective, vasorelaxant, phytoestrogenic and neuroprotective have also been reported...While there is a wealth of in vitro and in vivo evidence that resveratrol could be a promising therapeutic agent, clinical trials must confirm its potential." Early Research Shows Promising Results but More Research is Needed In a 2010 study titled, “Red wine: a Drink to your Heart”, scientists concluded that red wine contains antioxidant components such as resveratrol and quercetin and may help to decrease inflammation and may be beneficial for cardiovascular health. The key word is ‘may.’ It’s important to take this research for what it is - preliminary findings. It seems evident that scientists feel that more research here is needed.
We are waiting for clinical trials to validate the findings so far. Red wines have about .03-1.07 milligrams (mg) of resveratrol. The issue here is that red wine does not contain a lot of resveratrol. A resveratrol supplement can have up to 1500mg per a daily dose. In an article published in Wine Spectactor called "Which wines have the most resveratrol?", the author notes that wines made from grapes with thicker skins will have higher concentrations of resveratrol.
Red Wine and Heart Disease
While it seems there may be some hopeful preliminary evidence to show that red wine may have a positive impact on the heart, research is still being conducted and will take some time. Doctors seem to agree in unison that something in red wine positively affects the heart but are also skeptical to recommend wine to patients without more research.
Ingredients in red wine, namely resveratrol, may prevent coronary heart disease. As the Mayo Clinic says in an article title, Red wine and resveratrol: Good for your heart?. “Red wine seems to have heart-healthy benefits. But it's possible that red wine isn't any better than beer, white wine or liquor for heart health. There's still no clear evidence that red wine is better than other forms of alcohol when it comes to possible heart-healthy benefits.” The real benefit of red wine may be in reducing inflammation, a key cause of heart attacks and heart disease. While some studies point to a benefit in red wine, others remain inconclusive and show that we need more research at this juncture.
Is Resveratrol Good or Bad?
It's not that resveratrol is bad but the issue is that there is no enough data from clinical trials to prove current claims. In the article 8 Reasons To Love Red Wine, the author seems adamant that red wine is beneficial for the heart and points to a study showing that red wine lowers LDL, or bad cholesterol, however, the article does not point out that scientists and doctors widely agree that more testing is needed to draw such conclusions. The author also goes on to write that it boosts brain health, may prevent diabetes, may fight off colds and may even help one lose weight. The website needs to be careful and explain that research is in its early stages and most of the research at this phase is inconclusive.
The article Benefits of Red Wine for the Heart, Body & Mind seems to ignore scientific research and facts again explaining that red wine boosts heart health and lowers cholesterol. Again, while quercetin, present in red wine, may help to regulate blood pressure levels, doctors and scientists have said that more research is needed.
Red Wine Ingredient That Causes Headaches
Tannins are chemicals found in plans that give flavor to red wines and contain antioxidants. Tannins also trigger the release of serotonin, which when released in high levels, may cause headaches for some people. Healthline notes in this article, "Alcohol can dilate blood vessels in your brain, which can cause a headache. Red wine, in particular, has long been known as a migraine trigger." One solution to avoiding headaches from red wine is to start with one glass only and see if a headache is caused the next day. While some people have mentioned that wine helps headaches, we have not been able to find any evidence to verify these claims.
Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s).