Health benefits of red wine

Wine, especially the red variety, has been studied extensively over many years with impressive findings suggesting it may promote a longer lifespan, protect against certain cancers, improve mental health, and provide benefits to the heart.

Scientists agree that there is something in red wine that, when drunk in moderation, can help to protect the heart, reduce bad cholesterol and prevent blood clots. Here are a few of its health benefits:

(1) Reducing risk of depression: A team from several universities in Spain reported that drinking wine may reduce the risk of depression. The authors found that men and women who drank two to seven glasses of wine per week were less likely to be diagnosed with depression. Even after taking into account lifestyle factors which could influence their findings, the significantly lower risk of developing depression still stood.

(2) Preventing colon cancer: Scientists reported that regular, moderate red wine consumption can reduce the rate of bowel tumors by approximately 50%.

(3) Anti-aging: Researchers from Harvard Medical School reported that red wine has anti-aging properties. Specifically, resveratrol was the compound found to have the beneficial effect. The resveratrol in wine comes from the skins of red grapes. Blueberries, cranberries and nuts are also sources of resveratrol.

(4) Preventing breast cancer: Regular consumption of most alcoholic drinks increases the risk of breast cancer. However, red wine intake has the opposite effect as shown in some research studies. The scientists explained that chemicals in the skins and seeds of red grapes reduce estrogen levels while raising testosterone in premenopausal women - which results in a lower risk of developing breast cancer.

(5) Preventing dementia: Moderate red wine intake can reduce the risk of developing dementia. Resveratrol, a specific compound found in wine, reduces the stickiness of blood platelets, which helps keep the blood vessels open and flexible. This helps maintain a good blood supply to the brain. Both white and red wines contain resveratrol, but red wine has much more. The skin of red grapes has very high levels of resveratrol. During the manufacturing process of red wine there is prolonged contact with grape skins....