Wine – Toast to Good Health

Is wine good for health or not? This is a much debated question and researches have shown positive results.Both red and white wines are made from fermented grapes. The yeast used to ferment grapes converts the sugar in the fruit to alcohol thereby producing wine.

Varieties of grapes and yeasts are used to produce different types of wine.The seeds and skin of grapes contains polyphenols, and antioxidant compound. During processing this polyphenol gets dissolved in the alcohol. Red wine contains higher amounts of polyphenol since the seeds and grapes are discarded when producing white wine.What is this polyphenol and why is it good? Polyphenols are compounds that have antioxidant properties. Molecules called free radicals can cause harm to protein membranes and DNA cells which can lead to the development of cancer. Antioxidants provide protection from this oxidative damage.



Resveratrol, a type of polyphenol called photoalexin, is richly available in wine. Produced by a plant as a defense mechanism, resveratrol protects a plant from fungus, infection and ultraviolet irradiation. Animal studies have revealed that resveratrol reduces incidences of tumor and cancer development. This compound has the properties to reduce inflammation and activation of the protein NF kappa B – a protein that has an effect on the cancer cell growth and metastasis.

Animal studies have revealed that wine has an effect on various types of cancersprostrate, leukemia, skin and breasts.

Resveratrol is also found to have heart attack preventing properties. Its anti-clotting effect prevents the blood from clotting and blocking arteries which eventually lead to a heart attack and stroke.

To get the maximum benefit of resveratrol it is suggested to slowly sip the drink. Sipping slowly results in the resveratrol being absorbed by the mucous membrane in the mouth which ensures better absorption.

Laboratory studies on the health benefits of wine are still underway and a conclusion is yet to be arrived at. However, a practical evidence that one cannot ignore is of the low incidences of cancer and cardiovascular diseases among the Mediterranean population where wine is widely consumed.