There is a lot of buzz about red wine antioxidants; namely its resveratrol, quercetine and bioflavanoids.
But does this mean you should start drinking red wine for your health? Or is this an excuse to continue alcohol consumption?
We look at arguments from two health experts:
In the recent field of antioxidant study on the body, many professionals will recommend moderate intake of red wine (no more than 1 wine glass a day) for its high antioxidant content.
What about the alcohol content though? Health professionals have always told us that alcohol is a definite no-no. There is no place for it in a healthy diet – because of its effect on the liver, kidneys, and cells in general.
o the debate is up on red wine antioxidants.
I will present both sides of the argument, and then let you decide what is right for you.
Personally, I believe that moderate consumption of red wine in social situations is nothing to be afraid of. But I don’t think taking it up as a daily hobby is necessary if you feel you need more antioxidants for your health.
There are better ways… consider flavanol rich chocolate!
Nevertheless, here are the arguments:
It is established that red wine antioxidants are greater than those in black tea, orange juice, and apple juice.
Dr Bryce Wylde (author of The Antioxidant Prescription) says “One glass of red wine (preferably Cabernet because of the higher ORAC value and the procyanidin content) per day for women and two for men is ideal.
By glass, I mean no more than 150 to 300 mL (5 to 10 ounces). Lots of studies suggest that red wine can keep you smarter, maintain a healthy and strong heart and protect your blood vessels from plaque development.”
The most studied antioxidant in red wine is resveratrol.
Dr Wylde tells us that “The potent antioxidant substances resveratrol and quercetin, found in red grapes, also protect your heart against damaging free radicals.
But the amount of resveratrol in red wine isn’t enough; to reap resveratrol’s benefits, you’ll need the supplement form…Resveratrol in the high amounts found in supplements can protect against cancer and reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases, gastric ulcers, stroke and even osteoporosis.”
Red wine offers many other health benefits, including a reduction in platelet aggregation (blood stickiness) and flexibility of blood vessels that go to the brain.
It’s interesting to note that the antioxidant value of red grape juice in its pure form is nearly as good for you as red wine. Drinking wine occasionally at parties does not necessitate alcoholic help, but doing so with increasing frequency and in much larger quantities might.
For some, it might be best to just avoid red wine for the reason that alcohol is highly addictive.
Dr Wylde also acknowledges the risk of over-consumption, because many of us can find it hard to stop drinking at one or two glasses.
Going over the limit (more than a glass or two) leads the creation of free radicals, not protection from them.
|Warning about the negative effects of alcohol consumption.“Liver cirrhosis as a result of alcohol abuse is one of the ten leading causes of death in the United States.
Individuals with a family history of alcohol problems should not begin drinking in response to any positive studies of the benefits of red wine, nor should those with pre-existing health conditions, including:
• Arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats
• High blood pressure
• Liver disease
• Severe acid reflux
• Sleep apnea
• Stomach ulcers
Alcohol may also interfere with certain prescription medications, making them lethal or ineffective.
Excessive or chronic use of any alcohol can result in a number of health conditions:
• Elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood
• Increased risk of breast cancer
• Increased risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus
• Increased risk of liver cancer
• Liver cirrhosis
When it comes to red wine antioxidants, it’s all about moderation.
Can we honestly say it is healthful though?
Yes, there are many antioxidants in red wine, which we know are necessary to combat free radical damage, but we should weigh the pros and cons carefully.
Do the negative effects outweigh the positive effects of red wine antioxidants?
MD Gabriel Cousens (MD, homeopathic physician, Tree of Life, author of Spiritual Nutrition) believes that maintaining healthy cell “terrain” is the key to optimal health.
He talks about fermentation in the body by microscopic life forms – mycrozymas. They are living colloidal elements that feed off and ferment the sugar in our system.
The mycrozyma is the smallest living unit in nature and in our bodies, much smaller than cells.
When the body got too acid/toxic the natural fermentation process in the body is accelerated, and there is a “morbid evolution” of the microzymas.
They mutate into bacteria, yeast, fungus, and eventually mold. As these “morbid” forms from the microzymas develop, they feed on our vital body substances and produce more toxins, which we call mycotoxins.
This toxic process is behind all degenerative disease and aging.
Gabriel Cousens knows what he’s talking about. He has been studying cell biology and observing this effect in people’s blood samples for many years.
Dr Cousens affirms that alcohol is one of the factors contributes to mycotoxic process. He advises us to avoid it in general.
In his book Spiritual Nutrition he writes:
“…Red wine also has a number of phenolics, the most important being resveratrol and quercetin, which alter gene expression and enhance phenotypic expression to protect against blood clot formation as in heart disease. Resveratrol also has certain anti-aging qualities that are recently being touted to mimic the calorie restriction effect.
However, red wine also has the downside of being alcohol. Alcohol does many things to disregulate and undermine healthy gene expression, particularly in the neurotransmitter systems, as well as other systems in the body. Resveratrol, quercetin, and the bioflavanoids can easily be gotten from substances other than red wine.” (P 322)
Do not fear red wine!
The truth is that most of us drink, at least socially.
Of course organic Cabernet red wine is a far healthier choice than liquor, beer, or even white wine. In fact, in small quantities it has beneficial effects (moreso for people of Mediterranean descent).
Just remember moderation is key.
However, this is not a reason to take up drinking a glass a day (if you don’t already). There are still many better food and drink choices if you want the equivalent of red wine antioxidants’ boost to your diet.
If you are concerned with complete and optimal health, have the exisiting conditions mentioned above, or are doing a cleansing diet, you should avoid red wine – due to the alcohol content.
Otherwise, in Bryce Wylde’s words “Live a little!” and enjoy a few benefits of red wine antioxidants.