Time to Put Down That Glass of Red Wine


Warm, summer weather has finally arrived! What better way to enjoy it than eating a sumptuous meal outdoors with a group of your friends, an alcoholic beverage in hand? After all, red wine is good for you, right?

Unfortunately, it appears not. Previous studies have declared a daily glass of red wine to be beneficial for your health, but a closer examination of those results reveals that the group of people most likely to be drinking that glass of red wine were of high socioeconomic status. That means they also ate more vegetables, were more likely to exercise daily, and be of a healthy weight. These are the most likely causes of their longevity as a group, not the red wine.

Any health benefits commonly attributed to red wine, such as a high amount of anti-oxidants, can also be found in grapes themselves, or in grape juice. The alcohol is not a critical element and may actually counteract some of the positive aspects of the grapes within it.

Worse, in other new studies, a daily glass of red wine was found to increase the risk of breast cancer by 9%, and raise the incidence of rosacea by nearly 50%, while also increasing the risk of atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, which can lead to heart failure.

All this being said, what this new meta-analysis also shows is that if you eat plenty of vegetables, exercise regularly, and keep your weight down, it can mitigate most of the negative effects of the alcohol in red wine. So, as long as you are taking good care of your health in other ways, a glass of red wine may not be so bad. Just don’t consider red wine a tonic for your health. At best, it’s a toxin that should be enjoyed sparingly.

About the author: Rebecca Wong has an honours degree in English Literature from the University of Waterloo, and has been working in the herbal business since 2000. She has received her training in acupuncture and herbalism from respected authorities Paul Des Rosiers and Vu Le at the Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Toronto, and Michael Tierra at the East West Herb School in California.

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