‘Alcohol provokes the desire, but takes away the performance.’
(Shakespeare (1564-1616), Macbeth; Act II, Scene 3)
Even the Bard knew the ill-effects of too much alcohol..but really, when is it enough and when is it excessive?
Unless you’re the Malaysian Tree Shrew, the world’s heaviest drinker (featured in my earlier post here), how do you know whether you’re drinking too much? Get pen and paper ready and take this quick quiz here, courtesy of MSN.
The benefits of red wine on health are quite well-known, thanks largely to the French Paradox: – the low incidence of heart diseases among the French despite ingesting foods high in saturated fats; this attributable to taking regular red wine.
So what is it in red (but not white) wine that confers the beneficial effects? This is attributable to the high content of polyphenols which originate from the skins, seeds, and vine stems of red grapes. This anti-oxidant comes in two main forms: flavonoids and nonflavonoids, the latter being the one well-known for resveratrol, the substance known to be the found in the skin of the red grape (or for that matter, any of the colored berries, like raspberry,cranberry,blueberry,etc).
One of most well-documented benefits of red wine is the heart protective effect. Moderate consumption of red wine on a regular basis may be a preventative against coronary heart disease, as well as increasing the levels of the good HDL-cholesterol. It is believed the polyphenols as anti-oxidants also prevent plaque formation and clogging of the arteries in the heart, besides having an anti-clotting effect that causes ‘thinning’ of the blood.
And what’s moderate consumption? 2 glasses (1 glass=5 oz=150 cc) for men and 1 glass for women daily.
And what about the bad? Apart from migraine and dehydration (the thirst the morning after), the alcohol in the wine interacts with a lot of medications – special warning to those taking tranquillizers and sedatives because alcohol is a downer which adds on to the effects of these pills to cause, in extreme cases, inability to breathe, coma and death. Impairment of attention and skills, including delayed reaction times is a well-known danger for drivers, a fact well-known in causing serious accidents on the road.
And there’s of course temporary amnesia if you’ve drunk too much!.. as in UB40’s Red Red Wine (watch it here!):
Red, red wine
Goes to my head
Makes me forget that I
Still need you so
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