The Unknown Health Benefit of Red Wine

Red Wine The Unknown Health Benefit of Red Wine
by Megan Boutinen

A lot of times adults drink red wine as a complement to a meal, or for celebrations with friends, or simply to enjoy a relaxing beverage at the end of a long day. Though it's great for all of these purposes, have you ever considered that there might be more benefits to consuming red wine than simply enjoyment?

For centuries, Europeans have been enjoying wine, and though they have and still do consume lots of animal products and have diets high in saturated fats, they still have less instances of heart disease and high blood pressure than Americans. This was the catalyst that sparked the interest of researchers to investigate possible reasons for this difference, and what eventually led them to red wine. Researchers concluded that it was something in red wine that helped protect the body and help heart functioning. However, the direct source of that aid was found through further research.

A biochemist at Harvard named David Sinclair was the researcher who found the substance in red wine that makes it so beneficial (in moderation) to our health. Sinclair studies the topic of aging and found a gene that, when it's active, triggers a survival mechanism in our bodies, which protects us against factors that cause disease. This gene is activated by something in nature, which Sinclair found out, after extensive testing, this something was a substance called resveratrol. The number one source of resveratrol (in our diets at least)---the skin of red grapes, which is what gives the color to red wine.

Currently, researchers are attempting to harness high concentrations of this substance to be able to prevent age related illnesses and extend the human lifespan.

Therefore, a glass or two of red wine in the evening may play a greater role in keeping your body healthy than simply allowing you to "take a load off".

[Editor's Note: The recommendations for consumption of wine is 1 drink/day or less for women; 2 drinks/day or less for men. Exceeding this recommendation puts you at elevated risks for other health problems, such as cancer. ---Judy Learn]

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