Wine May Lower Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer in Men


2013-07-23 13:27

According to the results of a French study, moderate consumption of wine by men may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Researchers from the Universite Paris Ouest Nanterre La Defense and Bordeaux Segalen University studied more than 35,000 men between the ages of 40 to 65 for a total of twenty-eight years.

In men whose alcohol consumption was mostly wine, the risk of death from heart disease was lowered by 40%. The risk death from lung, lip, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, bladder and rectal cancers were lowered by 20%.

Red wine in particular has been studied over the past several decades due to its association with reduced mortality. For example, a study from the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggest that drinking up to a half a glass of wine daily can boost life expectancy in males by five years.

Components such as flavonoids and other antioxidants are thought to be the substances most protective. Resveratrol, for example, is a polyphenol that appears to help prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces LDL cholesterol, and could prevent blood clots. The antioxidant may also help protect against inflammation and diabetes.

But one should always keep in mind the concept of moderation – meaning one drink a day maximum for women and only one to two drinks per day for men. Drinking excessive alcohol can increase the risk of accidents, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, breast cancer, and alcoholism.

The American Heart Association recommends men consult their doctor on the benefits and risks of consuming alcohol.

References:
Streppel MT, Ocke MC, Boshuizen HC, Kok FJ, Kromhout D. Long-Term Wine Consumption Is Related To Cardiovascular Mortality And Life Expectancy Independently Of Moderate Alcohol Intake: The Zutphen Study. British Medical Journal. 2011.
WineHealth 2013: The Australian Wine Research Institute
American Heart Association