Disclaimer: This article presents claims made by scientists and others around the world regarding the benefits of red wine. We present them in such a way as to be informative. They do not necessarily represent the opinion of Queens Park Wines. Where possible we supply supporting evidence of their claims. In no way should this article be taken as medical advice or fact and we do not encourage anyone to drink more than they normally would as a result of reading this information. For official guidelines on alcohol consumption see www.drinkaware.co.uk
Red wine is believed by many to have lots of health benefits but the latest one discovered by scientists at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri and reported on recently in our daily press and scientific literature around the world is that red wine increases a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. Leaving aside the obvious joke that women are more likely to want to procreate having drunk a few glasses of wine, the paper suggests there is a defintite positive trend showing women who drank red wine regularly were more likely to conceive.
It seems there is no end to the benefits that red wine can apparently bring us and so when our government say that red wine is bad for us it reminds us slightly of the scene from Monty Python’s film The Life of Brian – ” …What have the Romans ever done for us? ”
“Yes alright, but apart from delaying the onset of dementia, extending life expectancy, improving heart and circulatory health, reducing blood sugar levels, reducing abdominal bloating, delaying or completely preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, preventing cancer, preventing memory loss, having anti-inflammatory properties, helping us lose weight, reducing blood pressure, generally delaying ageing, preventing Hypertension, reducing the risk of kidney stones and even, possibly, minimising allergic reactions… What has red wine ever done for us, eh?”
Wow, thats quite a list. It has to be said there is much debate about some of these claims with establishment sources trying very hard d to play them down and even discredit them altogether and other more independent sources very much behind them, but generally speaking most are quite widely accepted by consumers and wine producers alike.
Red wine is a complex mix of around 800 to 1000 different compounds. Resveratrol is the substance attributed to many of red wine’s health benefits, but wine also contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, beneficial sugars and indeed alcohol itself is claimed by some to be beneficial insofar as it thins our blood and dilates our arteries lowering blood pressure, as well as being a relaxant and social lubricant, bringing all the social and psychological benefits associated with sensible, moderate drinking in social situations.
Clearly, being a website that promotes the benefits of organic wine we feel obliged to point out that any negative health effects of wine are very probably due to the harmful chemicals and additives used in conventional wine production. To date there has been no research that we are aware of which compares the long-term health effects of organic vs non-organic wine consumption in regular drinkers’ health which seems very odd in itself so this assumption is exactly that. One would imagine that if our government had our best interests at heart, especially considering the many claimed health benefits of red wine, they would be the first to encourage this type of research and subsequently promote healthy and responsible drinking rather than to try to discourage wine consumption altogether. Indeed the EU has essentially banned all official health claims for wine which means we cannot support any of these claims, but are left merely to report on them.
Despite this lack of evidence one does not have to be a scientist to assume that if chemicals that damage our liver, nervous system, reproductive systems and brains and which cause cancer are used in conventional wine production that they are probably the cause of those conditions in regular drinkers. Many studies have also concluded that organic wines contain much higher levels of beneficial compounds than conventional wines. In the case of Resveratrol this could be due to the use of sprayed fungicides. Resveratrol is a natural anti-fungal agent produced by vines in response to pressure from fungal infections. It follows, therefore, that if vines that are sprayed with anti-fungal agents and so are not exposed to fungi that they are not likely to produce Resveratrol, so far from being helpful to production, anti-fungal agents make the wine less healthy as they will contain less Resveratrol and harmful residues from the anti-fungal chemicals.
For now, I think it is safe to say we can all continue to enjoy organic and biodynamic wines and the many benefits that some claim they bring. If you are trying to conceive it seems a regular glass or two of red wine might just work wonders for your reproductive success, even if it is just to get you and your partner in the mood in the first place!
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