Is red wine really good for you or are people just using that as an excuse to drink more?
Is red wine really good for you? Jury is out.
Are people just using that as an excuse to drink more? Of course.
There are multiple variables that require additional research. Right off the bat we have the grapes themselves which can have significant variation depending on where they’re grown and how they are cultivated. Then we have the – significantly variable – components of red wine: phenolic components (flavonoids, catechins, etc.) and alcohol. Phenolic components are praised as having an antioxidant effect (good) while alcohol is considered pro-oxidant (bad). Some research suggests a balance is at play which is affected by consumption frequency (weekly is better than none but daily wasn’t better than weekly) while other research says the pro-oxidant effect of alcohol itself outweighs any antioxidant activity. And to complicate things further, the research hasn’t concluded on what, if anything, is beneficial about wine. I’ve read research articles that have looked at dopamine, flavonoids, ethanol content, and calcium-activated chloride channels to name a few.
Although there is some promising preliminary research, the scientific community hasn’t agreed upon the mechanism of action or all possible side effects of red wine consumption. So if you’re going to drink up, do so with friends and rock the pink-tooth smile.
Author: Tony Scartozzi
Tony Scartozzi was born and raised in a small town in Eastern Washington. After moving to Seattle in 2001, he attended Bastyr University and graduated with a degree in Nutrition. Driven by his passion for public health, his career has spanned the nonprofit sector, senior housing resources, food service training, and now works for a nutraceutical company that produces market-leading plant extracts used for supplemental health. Observing the severe disparity between advertisement spin and research-based knowledge, Tony has spent many years trying to identify and reconcile the difference. With Tony’s parents’ age beginning to show, his desire to investigate health-related topics has become a very personal one.