Editor’s Note: New red wine benefits are included below! Remember, moderation is key to reap the most benefits.
Resveratrol, Found in Red Wine, May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease – Plus Ellagic Acid May Aid in Weight Loss
New evidence provided in a recent study done on the effect of resveratrol, a polyphenol compound and antioxidant present in red wine, dark colored grapes and dark chocolate has shown that the compound may impact the degree at which Alzheimer’s attacks the brain.
While the preliminary evidence is promising, the doses administered to patients were in pill form, at concentrations equal to the amount of 1,000 bottles of red wine. Also worth noting is that the study done was the first phase in a series of analyses.
Winetraveler Note: If you’re not a huge red wine drinker, or simply want to reap the benefits of resveratrol without consuming alcohol, some of us on the #Winetraveler team stand by and use this supplement, available on Amazon in pill form. You can read the reviews for yourself.
Back to the study, the primary objective was to gauge the safety of using a concentrated resveratrol pill on human subjects – not necessarily its effectiveness at reversing or preventing the disease. However, despite the initial objective, decreases in maintaining high concentrations of AB40 (amyloid beta 40), a protein that declines in patients with Alzheimer’s, was noted. More evidence is needed to prove the lengths at which resveratrol may improve Alzheimer’s, and a second phase is slated to begin soon.
Drinking red wine has also been proven to dilate blood vessels and arteries, helping to lower blood pressure. But the potential benefits of red wine don’t stop there, continue reading to learn more about how this special juice could be incorporated as part of a healthy lifestyle. Always consult with your healthcare provider as alcohol consumption may not be suitable for everyone.
- Resveratrol, Found in Red Wine, May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease – Plus Ellagic Acid May Aid in Weight Loss
- Red Wine May Have Other Health Benefits
- Ellagic Acid in Red Wine May Help You Lose Weight
- Understanding Resveratrol and Ellagic Acid
- Red Wine and Gut Health
- Mental Health and Red Wine
- Red Wine and Skin Health
- How to Incorporate Red Wine into a Healthy Lifestyle
- The Importance of Moderation
- Other Foods Rich in Resveratrol and Ellagic Acid
- Update on Ongoing Red Wine Benefits & Studies
- Red Wine and Cardiovascular Health
- Red Wine and Cancer Prevention and Neuroprotection
- Red Wine and Blood Pressure Reduction
- Mental Sharpness
- Frequently Asked Questions about Red Wine Benefits
Red Wine May Have Other Health Benefits
Need another excuse to drink red wine? Despite the concentrated dose noted above, it doesn’t mean that one glass of red wine a day won’t help keep the doctor away. Other studies analyzing compounds in red wine have shown that it can contribute weight loss, heart health and even enhanced memory. The key, at least at this point, appears to be when red wine is consumed in moderation. Yes, polyphenols in full-bodied, rich red wines show promise for improved health, but at the same time excessive amounts of alcohol can have an adverse effect. Let’s take a look at all of the major claims relating to red wine health benefits.
- Alzheimer’s Improvement, Prevention or Reversal
- Anti-Cancer Properties
- Anti-Aging Properties
- Reduced Cardiovascular Disease Risk
- Weight Loss
- Diabetes Prevention
- Reduced Heart Attack Risk
- Reduced Heart Disease Risk
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Live a Longer Life
Numerous physicians involved with studying the health benefits of red wine, overtime, are seeing a trend with some of these claims appearing to be more common than not. While these health benefits are still tall claims, if proved true could it would be a huge revelation to our society as a whole.
However, in order to maximize these potential benefits, the individual should already be in good health and only drink in moderation. While evidence now seems to strongly point towards red wine health benefits, a glass of red should not be looked at as a cure-all. One glass MAY help attain some of the above health benefits, but only if you’re already eating a somewhat healthy diet, exercise frequently and drink, in moderation, highly concentrated full-bodied red wine. These include grapes like Red Cannonau (Grenache), Carignan and Malbec.
Ellagic Acid in Red Wine May Help You Lose Weight
Another recent study conducted by Oregon State University conducted a study on consumption of dark red grapes and its effect on obesity. But the benefit doesn’t appear to come from resveratrol, instead it comes from ellagic acid.
In the study, one group of mice were fed food containing up to 60% fat, while the others were fed basic mouse feed, which only contained 10%. During the 10 week study, the fatty-fed mice were found to have developed a fatty liver and preliminary symptoms of diabetes. Which, as the study notes, is similar to what would happen to an overweight human. This is where the study gets interesting.
The fatty-fed mice were then given the equivalent of about one and a half cups of grapes per day. Overtime, “chubby mice that got the extracts accumulated less fat in their livers, and they had lower blood sugar, than those that consumed the high-fat diet alone. Ellagic acid proved to be a powerhouse in this experiment, too, lowering the high-fat-fed mice’s blood sugar to nearly the levels of the lean, normally fed mice,” says OSU biochemist Neil Shay.
The results here prove promising, and reasonable. Considering the amount of grapes needed for the liver cells to respond to ellagic acid.
There are numerous claims that red wine can provide health benefits that range from anti-aging properties, to weight loss and even improved memory. However, despite the number of studies, we want to stress that the investigation is ongoing and more complete scientific research and resulting evidence is needed to confirm the claims. We’ll keep you updated as more studies are churned out.
Understanding Resveratrol and Ellagic Acid
Diving deeper into Resveratrol and Ellagic Acid. These are polyphenolic compounds, naturally occurring antioxidants found in various fruits but notably in the skin of dark-colored grapes. Resveratrol has gained attention in the scientific community due to its potential ability to positively influence health, with studies suggesting possible cardiovascular and brain-protective effects. The intrigue lies in its role in gene expression related to age and longevity, though more research is needed to fully understand its mechanism of action.
Similarly, Ellagic Acid, another powerful antioxidant, has its own set of potential health benefits. This compound has shown promise in research for its potential anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects, primarily by influencing lipid metabolism and reducing inflammation. Moreover, Ellagic Acid has shown some potential in combating oxidative stress, a key factor in aging and various chronic diseases. However, as with Resveratrol, the intricacies of Ellagic Acid’s effects on human health are complex and require further research. Both of these compounds embody the potential of red wine as a part of a balanced diet and lifestyle, but also remind us of the importance of moderation and the need for further scientific exploration.
Red Wine and Gut Health
An exciting dimension of red wine’s health potential lies in its interaction with our gut microbiota. Our gut microbiota, the community of microorganisms living in our digestive tracts, plays an integral role in our overall health, affecting everything from digestion to immunity, and even our mood. Recent studies have begun to highlight the positive influence that moderate consumption of red wine might have on this crucial aspect of our health.
At the core of this relationship are the polyphenols found in red wine, such as Resveratrol and Ellagic Acid, among others. These compounds act as prebiotics, essentially serving as food for the beneficial bacteria in our gut. A well-nourished gut microbiota is more diverse and balanced, which is a key marker of gut health.
One study found that moderate consumption of red wine led to increased gut microbiota diversity compared to non-wine drinkers. This suggests that the polyphenols in red wine could potentially support a healthier, more resilient gut microbiota. However, it’s important to note that these effects have been associated with moderate consumption, and excessive drinking can have detrimental effects on gut health.
Mental Health and Red Wine
Addressing the relationship between red wine and mental health involves traversing a landscape of both potential benefits and challenges. On one side, moderate consumption of red wine has been associated with relaxation and stress relief. Some studies have suggested that a glass of red wine can potentially calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and even induce a state of mild euphoria due to the presence of alcohol. These effects might be attributed to alcohol’s known ability to act as a central nervous system depressant, slowing brain activity and producing a calming effect.
However, this coin has a flip side that cannot be ignored. Regular and excessive consumption of red wine, like any alcoholic beverage, can lead to dependency and addiction. It’s important to remember that while a glass of wine can potentially offer temporary stress relief, it should not be used as a primary coping mechanism for mental health issues. Overconsumption can lead to a host of problems, including increased risk of depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental health issues. Additionally, alcohol misuse can disrupt sleep patterns and negatively impact cognitive function. It’s a delicate balance that underscores the importance of moderation and healthy drinking habits. Mental health is a complex field, and professional help should always be sought when needed.
Red Wine and Skin Health
The fountain of youth may not flow with red wine, but some research suggests that Resveratrol could indeed contribute to healthier skin. Resveratrol’s antioxidant properties can potentially neutralize harmful free radicals that play a role in skin aging and damage. Some studies have suggested that it can protect against UV-induced damage and inhibit inflammation, thus reducing the signs of premature skin aging. There’s also interest in its potential role in wound healing, and it’s increasingly being incorporated in skincare products.
However, this is a budding field of research with more to uncover. Although the application of Resveratrol topically through skincare products may offer benefits, the effects of consuming red wine on skin health are not fully understood. Excessive alcohol consumption, including red wine, can have negative effects on the skin, causing dehydration and inflammation.
How to Incorporate Red Wine into a Healthy Lifestyle
While red wine is no magic potion, it can be a delightful addition to a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Firstly, select high-quality red wines, preferably those rich in beneficial compounds like Resveratrol and Ellagic Acid. Enjoy it with meals, ideally with a Mediterranean style diet, which is abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Drinking a glass of red wine can be a ritual of relaxation, a mindful moment that encourages slow, appreciative consumption. Enjoying it socially can also promote psychological well-being. Remember, while red wine has potential health benefits, it doesn’t replace a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. Making red wine a part of your lifestyle should enhance it, not complicate it.
The Importance of Moderation
The term ‘moderation’ cannot be overstated when discussing red wine and its health benefits. While the potential advantages are intriguing, they’re linked to moderate consumption. Over-drinking can quickly tip the scales from beneficial to harmful, leading to a myriad of health issues including liver damage, cardiovascular disease, addiction, and mental health problems.
The definition of ‘moderation’ can vary, but generally, it’s up to one glass a day for women and up to two for men. It’s crucial to note that these are maximum limits, not recommendations. The key is to enjoy red wine responsibly, savoring each sip, and never to drink with the sole purpose of achieving health benefits.
Other Foods Rich in Resveratrol and Ellagic Acid
For those who don’t consume alcohol or prefer other sources, many foods are rich in Resveratrol and Ellagic Acid. These compounds are found in a variety of fruits and nuts. Berries, especially cranberries, blueberries, and bilberries, are rich in Resveratrol. Peanuts and pistachios are also good sources.
Ellagic Acid is abundant in raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts.
Update on Ongoing Red Wine Benefits & Studies
Current research has further explored the potential of Resveratrol and Ellagic Acid, with studies investigating their effects on heart health, gut microbiota, skin health, mental health, and more. There is also growing interest in the role of other polyphenols present in red wine. It’s an exciting time in the field, but as always, more research is needed, and findings should be interpreted with caution. Below are some of the more recent studies that have been conducted connecting red wine to a variety of health benefits.
Red Wine and Cardiovascular Health
A study conducted this year (June, 2023) and discussed in the Nutrients Journal explored the relationship between wine consumption and cardiovascular mortality, demonstrating an inverse relationship. This suggests that moderate red wine consumption may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD).
Supporting this, a comprehensive literature review consisting of randomized controlled studies and case–control studies published from 2002 to 2022 found a potential positive impact of moderate red wine consumption on cardiovascular health.
Additionally, light to moderate alcohol consumption, including red wine, has been associated with higher levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), lower incidence of type-2 diabetes, and reduced lipid oxidative stress. A significant finding by the NIH showed that red wine drinkers had half the risk of dying from coronary heart disease or stroke compared to non-drinkers.
Red Wine and Cancer Prevention and Neuroprotection
Research on red wine polyphenols has highlighted their role in cancer chemo-preventive activities and neuroprotective effects. These polyphenols, including resveratrol, are noted for their impact on various health aspects, including potentially reducing the risk of certain cancers and benefiting brain health, per the NIH.
Red Wine and Blood Pressure Reduction
More recent studies have shown that red wine consumption has shown effectiveness in decreasing blood pressure among hypertensive patients. This is attributed to the polyphenols in red wine, which differ in composition and concentration based on grape variety. An interesting fact and something to consider for health-conscious red wine enthusiasts. Next time you’re out or sipping at home, consider choosing wines known for their polyphenolic content, such as:
Originally from the Basque region, Tannat is most famously grown in Uruguay, where it’s considered the national grape. Tannat is renowned for its high levels of procyanidins, a type of tannin known for supporting heart health by improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure.
Sagrantino is an ancient grape variety native to the Umbria region of Italy, particularly around the town of Montefalco. This grape has one of the highest polyphenolic contents among red wines, especially anthocyanins and tannins, which are antioxidants that may aid in reducing inflammation and supporting cardiovascular health.
Petite Sirah was developed in France in the 1880s but has found a more prominent home in California, where it produces robust and intense wines. This variety is high in resveratrol, a compound known for its potential anti-aging and heart health benefits.
Nebbiolo is the grape behind the renowned Italian wines Barolo and Barbaresco. It’s named after ‘nebbia’, the Italian word for fog, which often envelops the Langhe region where these grapes are grown. Nebbiolo is noted for its high levels of polyphenols, including procyanidins, which contribute to its potential cardiovascular benefits.
Originally from France, Malbec has become synonymous with Argentina, where it thrives and produces rich, deep-colored wines. Malbec is rich in resveratrol and quercetin, both powerful antioxidants. Resveratrol is particularly researched for its potential to protect heart health and reduce the risk of certain cancers.
One of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties, it is grown in nearly every major wine-producing country. Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its high concentration of flavonoids, particularly procyanidins, which have been linked to heart health and longevity.
Teroldego is an indigenous Italian grape variety, predominantly grown in the Trentino region. It’s known for producing deeply pigmented, richly flavored wines. Like other dark-skinned grape varieties, Teroldego is rich in anthocyanins and other polyphenols, which are antioxidants that may offer health benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties and cardiovascular support.
Teinturier grapes are a unique category of grapes with red flesh and juice, not just red skins. Most red grapes have clear juice, and their red color comes from the skins. Teinturier varieties, however, have anthocyanin pigments in both the skins and the pulp, resulting in wines with very deep colors.
An example of a teinturier grape is Alicante Bouschet. This grape is known for its robust color and high levels of tannins and anthocyanins. The high polyphenolic content in teinturier grapes like Alicante Bouschet can be beneficial for heart health and may possess antioxidant properties.
In addition to the neurological study we mentioned at the beginning of this article, a study by Life Sciences further supports that resveratrol in red wine inhibits beta-amyloid protein, which is associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. This suggests that red wine may play a role in maintaining mental acuity and possibly preventing or mitigating Alzheimer’s progression.
While we await further scientific advances, the timeless advice remains – enjoy red wine responsibly and as part of a balanced lifestyle. Bookmark this article as we intend to update it as we receive more news!
Frequently Asked Questions about Red Wine Benefits
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