Is red wine really good for us?

BEIJING, Jan. 10 ( Xinhua) — Although millions of people die each year from alcohol, human love of drinking for thousands of years will not be eliminated, according tomedia reports. In recent decades, red wine has even had a reputation for being “good for health”, which is thought to be linked to prolonged life and reduced risk of heart disease.

Is red wine really good for us?

Infographic

But is red wine really good for us?

The first step is to find out what “good for us” really means. When it comes to the benefits of red wine, many people think about heart health. But little is known about the study’s findings are clearly linked to cancer. For non-smokers, a bottle of red wine a week increases the risk of cancer by 1% in men’s lifetime and 1.4% for women. For a man, one bottle of red wine a week is the equivalent of five cigarettes for men and 10 for women.

Experts say that while there is a lot of research to uncover the link between smoking and cancer, there is little research on the health effects of alcohol consumption, as public health officials control the disclosure of tobacco information, and the effects of alcohol consumption are largely transmitted by the alcohol industry itself.

The idea of “discretionary good health” dates back to the 1970s. Scientists at the time found that the French consumed more saturated fats, but had a lower risk of heart disease. They found a clear association between low heart disease prevalence and drinking red wine. This is the so-called “French paradox” that still confuses scientists.

Since then, we have believed that drinking red wine in moderation can reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

“Early studies have found that moderate alcohol consumption presents a J-shaped effect curve,” said Helena Conibel, co-director of the International Forum for the Science of Alcohol Research. Since then, no fewer than 1,000 papers have repeatedly reiterated this view. “

Therefore, for a long time, people have maintained the “moderate drinking than a total ban on alcohol is more conducive to health” consensus.

But the J-shaped relationship curve between alcohol intake, death and disease has also been criticized. Many people now realize that the data in previous studies may have many flaws: people who abstain from alcohol may be quitting alcohol because they are not well, rather than because they are not. (The distinction between causation and effect is a major challenge in many observational studies, which most nutritional studies encounter.) )

In 2006, scientists reanalyzed 54 previously published studies and found no correlation between moderate drinking and reduced risk of heart disease.

But in recent years, some studies have come to the exact opposite conclusion, Konipe ber said. “Over the past five years, researchers have focused on a number of distractions. We know that wine lovers tend to be healthier, more educated and more sport-loving. After making the adjustment, we found that the J-shaped relationship curve previously proposed was completely correct. “

To avoid distractions such as “people abstain ing from alcohol because of health problems,” They chose subjects who had never been drinking, rather than people who had a drinking habit and later abstained, Koenigbel said.

In a 2019 study, researchers used a different method to determine whether moderate drinking was really associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Over the past decade, they have tracked down half a million Chinese adults. In the Chinese group, two common genetic variants (ALDH2-rs671 and ADH1B-rs1B-rs1229984) affected people’s drinking characteristics. In the study, they also specifically excluded subjects with poor health.

One of the authors of the paper, Professor of Epidemiology at the Nafield Department of Population Health at Oxford University, said: “People who do not have this defect can be undrunk, but if someone has an enzyme in their body that is dysfunctional, they are completely unable to tolerate alcohol.” “

The researchers also studied Chinese women as a control group because while many Chinese women can metabolize alcohol, many do not drink alcohol for social reasons, rather than for health reasons.

In the study, the researchers did not find a J-type correlation curve, but found that the more alcohol people drank, the greater their risk of high blood pressure and stroke, and that people who liked to have two drinks a day did not have a reduced risk. No amount of alcohol consumed was associated with a heart attack. Thus, there is an obvious link between alcohol consumption and stroke, but alcohol for some reason seems to act as a way to prevent heart attacks.

“Our research shows that alcohol must have some kind of protective mechanism for the heart. Because high levels of alcohol can lead to rising blood pressure, the association is fairly flat for heart disease, and the risk of heart disease does not increase. “So there may be another mechanism to offset the rise in blood pressure, ” says Mr Chen. But it is not clear whether this protection mechanism is sufficient to counteract the effects of high blood pressure. “

It’s important to note that the researchers converted all types of alcohol into standard alcohol units, so the results were not limited to red wine. But even if research is conducted on red wine alone, the results will not make any difference, Chen said.

Red wine

But red wine is generally considered “healthier” because it contains an antioxidant called polyphenols, as well as vegetables and fruits. Polyphenols can relieve inflammation in the body, which is one of the factors that contribute to disease. Polyphenol concentrations in red wine are up to ten times higher than those in white wine.

Alberto Bertelli, a researcher in the Department of Health Biomedical Sciences at the University of Milan, found that small amounts of red wine can reduce the risk of heart disease, in part because of its anti-inflammatory properties. He recommends drinking no more than 160mill of red wine a day, but must also adopt a Mediterranean-style diet.

The study focused in particular on a polyphenol called resveratrol, a natural compound found in grape skins and grape seeds. Scientists believe resveratrol can dilate blood vessels and thus prevent high blood pressure.

But Bortelli observes that while white wine does not contain resveratrol, the “French paradox” still exists in the french region snares white wine. In other words, white wine may have the same health benefits as red wine (if red wine is really good for the body).

“We found two compounds commonly found in virgin olive oil in white wine. Bortelli pointed out. The two compounds are tyrol and hydroxytyol, which have the effect of preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

But the researchers found that most people still believe that only red wine is good for your health.

Red wine may be good for intestinal health, which has many benefits for the rest of the body, such as boosting immunity and digestion, maintaining a healthy weight level, and so on. In a recent study, scientists analyzed the twins’ drinking habits and found that drinking red wine increases the diversity of gut bacteria, which is good for health. But the scientists only found this in subjects who drank only one glass of red wine a week. The average person who drank more than two drinks a day was not included in the study.

The researchers also found that people who drank red wine tended to have a lower body mass index (BMI). This may also be a health-related cause of moderate consumption of red wine. It’s not that people who drink red wine make people healthy, but that people who drink red wine are healthier than others. As Bortelli points out: “People who drink red wine tend to prefer to exercise, be richer and healthier.” “

The same is true of intestinal health as mentioned earlier. Because the study is an observational study, scientists can’t tell if a glass of red wine a week makes the gut healthier or if people with a healthier gut are just used to drinking one glass a week. If randomized controlled trials were conducted to divide subjects into different groups and to allow them to follow different drinking habits, they would be contrary to research ethics because of alcohol-related concerns.

The scientists did conduct several randomized controlled experiments, but failed to come to a definitive conclusion. A 2016 study found that drinking a glass of red wine for six months at dinner did not affect blood pressure in diabetics. And a 2015 study found that drinking 150ml of red wine a day could reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease in people with diabetes.

The healthiest practices

Caroline Le Roy, of King’s College London, points out that while red wine may be the healthiest of alcohol, it is healthier to quit it altogether.

“We know that alcohol is bad for our health, ” she says. ” But even so, I don’t encourage people to drink red wine. “

Studies often attribute the protection mechanism sequined wine to resveratrol. While some researchers believe that resveratrol can be absorbed by the blood means it can act antioxidantally, others suspect that resveratrol may not stay in the blood for that long, too late to perform its beneficial effects.

“How much resveratrol do you actually absorb from a glass of red wine?” How much of this can really be used by the body? These issues remain highly controversial. “Konipe bell pointed out.

Resveratrol supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years. But as for its efficacy, the data cannot be agreed. Bortelli believes that the body needs alcohol in red wine to absorb resveratrol.

“The bioavailability of resveratrol is no different from other polyphenols contained in fruit, but the key is not how much you ingest, but how much you get into the blood. “

“The compounds in red wine are fully dissolved before they are absorbed by us. These compounds can promote absorption and work together, which only red wine can do. “

According to the world’s most stringent UK drinking guidelines, we must not drink more than 14 alcohol units per week. Although research into the health benefits of red wine is only just beginning, most scientists agree that the healthiest approach is still to drop wine. If you must not drink, then the healthiest thing to do is to drink red wine.

But we shouldn’t drink red wine “for good health” because there are many more effective ways to improve your health. People must want to hear scientists say that half a bottle of red wine after work every day is good for the body. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Want to be healthier? Then eat more fruits and vegetables, more exercise, these are the best proven.