Alcohol consumption

Question

I have a question about alcohol consumption, specifically when it comes to wines. I find that the general consensus among doctors is that all alcohol is bad for you, yet I have also heard that wine can be good for one’s health as it contains antioxidants. Do you agree? And if so, how much and how often? I have also heard that it’s better to stick to red wine rather than white.

Submitted by Anien on 21 August 2014

Answer

Hi reader, that is a very important question. Alcohol is widely used amongst the general population and the health problems that one develops are due to the amount consumed. We know that alcohol impairs reaction time and concentration at low levels which can lead to accidents, however at greater intake levels alcohol can cause stomach inflammation, pancreas inflammation and even alcohol poisoning. In the long term, alcohol has been associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, brain shrinkage, liver disease and colon cancer. Wines contain polyphenols and antioxidants, especially the antioxidant resveratrol in red wines. Moderate wine intake has been shown to lower the incidence of heart disease to a point that the risk is even reduced more than in non-drinkers. Excessive intake increases the risk drastically once again. The current general recommended guidelines are 1 glass per day for women and 2 glasses per day for men. Red wine contains more antioxidants, iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous than white wine in general, however both have similar calorie counts. White wine usually contains more sugar than red wine. Pinot Noir and Merlot have the highest levels of resveratrol and antioxidants and generally the drier the wine, the more healthy flavanoids it contains.

Best regards

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