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Is Wine really Good for the Heart?

You keep hearing, time and time again, that red wine is good for the heart. But is it true?

While red wine does help in reducing blood pressure, providing antioxidants, and a substance called resveratrol, moderation is key. Because if you overdo it, the other end of the spectrum is alcoholism, and that’s a place none of us want to be. Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination. Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including, Cardiomyopathy, Arrhythmias and Stroke. Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including, Steatosis, or fatty liver, Alcoholic hepatitis, Fibrosis & Cirrhosis.

So we definitely want to keep the red wine drinking in moderation. However, having pointed out that, there are many benefits in drinking red wine.


Red wine works as a vasodilator in the arteries, i.e. it opens (dilates) blood vessels to promote healthy blood flow. As a result, blood flows more easily so the heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood to the rest of the body. Research also shows red wine and dealcoholized red wine improves blood flow in the brachial arteries. It works this way by increasing plasma nitric oxide – polyphenols found in dealcoholized red wine play a part in blood vessel vasodilation. So we don’t really need to drink alcoholic red wine, in other words.

Antioxidants are substances that may prevent or delay damage to cells, e.g. berries, nuts, beans, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin A, lycopene, selenium, lutein, and polyphenols.


Due to everyday life – hectic lifestyle, stress, environmental pollutants, not eating right etc, free radicals attack our system and cause oxidative stress, which can damage cells and may play a role in many diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.In some studies antioxidants have been shown to counteract free radicals. The polyphenols found in red wine seem beneficial and may help against oxidative stress.

In one study, when the effects of 3 alcoholic beverages, red wine, beer, and vodka, were compared in a recent study, only red wine provided protection against vascular oxidative stress!

Apart from this, there are more benefits in red wine (not white). Resveratrol is a type of polyphenol found in certain plants and red wine that has antioxidant properties and may act as an anti-inflammatory. Resveratrol in wine comes specifically from the skin of the grape and may be able to prevent blood clots and inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

In the end, a glass or two of red wine per day may help prevent heart disease but Red wine consumed in moderation is key. And if you are a not a wine drinker, then don’t start! There are other ways to get these antioxidants.. such as eating red grapes with the skin on them. Resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes and in other fruits as well, so you can always be an avid fruit eater, instead of wine drinker!

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