Red Wine – Pros & Cons

Alcohol provokes the desire, but takes away the performance.’ shakespeare

(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.

red wine

White,Rose or Red? Choose Red for Resveratrol

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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4 responses

  1. migraine

    […] 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? …

  2. For those who don’t take alcohol, will the taking of berry juices confer the same benefits?
    Doctor2008: Applying pure logic, the resveratrol and other polyphenol antioxidants in these berries should confer the same benefits as taking wine. However, there are no formal research, to my knowledge, that this is the case. Make sure, though, its fresh fruit extract and not the watered-down sugar-added commercial fruit juices.

  3. Hi Dr.,
    I remembered the time when my late father took very small amounts sometimes late at night like medicine for sleep. It worked! It helped him relax enough to fall into a slumber. When he woke up, he looked refreshed and comfortable as he can be. Regards.

    Doctor2008replies: Of course I remember your father well. A great yet humble man. It was indeed a privilege to have known him as well as to have managed him.

  4. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Doctor2008: There appeared to be a temporary glitch(not on my end) but this seems to have disappeared. Thanks for visiting.

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