Is red wine REALLY good for your heart?

3 experts weigh in to answer this question once and for all …

  • These researchers have dedicated their work to understanding the properties of wine and how they affect us
  • Drinking is associated with cirrhosis, heart attacks and other conditions
  • But red wine is also part of the Mediterranean diet, the healthiest diet known

Red wine has been linked to longer lifespan and shorter lifespan; to good heart health and heart attacks. So which is it?

(DAILY MAIL) As you read this, people are opening wine bottles in bars and restaurants and homes around the world, ready to kick back and relax.

Wine has gained something of a reputation as a ‘healthy’ alcohol — with researchers noting associations between red wine and lower incidence of heart disease.

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However, drinking is also known to increase risks of serious health issues, including liver cirrhosis and heart disease.

Medical researchers recently published an in-depth analysis of the health impact of wine.

Wine and heart disease

Is red wine good for the heart? As yet there is no true consensus on this.

Drinking patterns, lifestyle characteristics and dietary intake all factor into your personal cardiovascular profile.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes consumption of plant-based foods and includes moderate consumption of red wine.

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The low-consumption of saturated fat, emphasis on a healthy lifestyle, and more independently, alpha-linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid) and red wine, may allow this diet to confer the much desired cardio-protective benefits so often hailed by by scientific advisory committees

Cholesterol, inflammation, blood pressure

Red wine contains polyphenols, which have been widely credited for the apparent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of red wine.

Alcohol and polyphenols are thought to have several positive health impacts.

One is a contribution to an increase in HDL-cholesterol or ‘good cholestrol’ and a decrease in LDL-oxidation or ‘bad cholesterol.’

They also contribute to a decrease in inflammation. They are thought to increase insulin sensitivity. And they are understood to improve blood pressure.

Despite the beneficial effects of wine and alcohol consumption, drinking is still a potential risk-factor for atrial fibrillation, the most-common ‘rhythm alteration’ of the heart.

The bottom line 

[The bottom line – for those who choose to drink and have been cleared to do so by their doctors, a scientific case for moderate consumption of red wine can  be made. – Editor]

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 – 2020 developed by the United States Department of Agriculture recommends a moderate consumption of alcohol. Adrian Baranchuk, Bryce Alexander and Sohaib Haseeb For The Conversation; READ THE FULL STORY AT THE DAILY MAIL. Also of interest: What Chocolate Does To Your Body