Benefits and Risks of Wine

The consumption of wine has been touted as a good way to help your heart, be relaxed and in general have better health. However, there are risks that go along with the consumption of wine and you have to be careful to make sure that the benefits outweigh the risks. 

Benefits

The benefits of drinking wine are really related to red wine:

  • Red wine has been shown to be heart healthy. The reasons behind the benefit are not clear but it seems the antioxidants protect the blood vessels in your heart. They also help the blood vessels from becoming clogged. 
  • Red wine also contains resveratrol which helps reduce damage to blood vessels and reduces harmful cholesterol. 
  • Red wine’s ability to relax you can help reduce stress, which can be a factor in cardio related illnesses.

Drinking red wine daily in moderation does appear to work. The secret appears to be regular use and only in moderate quantities. If you drink too much, you dip into the risk category listed below.  Again, the benefit of relaxation only appears if small doses of red wine are consumed.

Risks

The risks of consuming wine are the same as any type of alcoholic beverage:

  • Too much wine can lead to weight gain due to the number of calories consumed. 
  • Overindulgence can lead to behavioral problems and legal problems if you drive a car and or appear in publicly intoxicated. 
  • Alcohol can also raise your blood pressure, cause accidents and if you are so prone, lead to addiction or alcoholism.

 There is a common thread running through most of the risks. That is the risk appears when alcohol is consumed in large amounts. For wine, that would be more than two glasses a day for men and more than one glass a day for women. The one risk that does not depend upon quantity is alcoholism. Drinking any amount of wine would trigger this risk, so if you have any concern about alcoholism you should not consume any alcoholic beverages.

Benefits vs. Risks

If you do not currently drink wine or any alcoholic beverages, the risks far outweigh the benefits. There are just too many risk factors involved to take the chance that drinking red wine will help your heart. Wine, after all, comes from grapes and there is evidence that drinking grape juice can have the same benefit as wine. So if you want the benefits of red wine without the risks, drink pure grape juice. Now, if you already consume alcoholic beverages on a daily basis, you should consider switching to red wine. It is better that other alcoholic beverages and you will receive the benefits. Just reminder the two key principles: regular daily use and moderation(no more than two glasses a day).

While the evidence is inconclusive with regard to the benefits of red wine it is clear that there is something at work which is worth trying if you already drink alcohol.

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