Alcohol: good or bad?

Alcohol: good or bad?

The relationship between wine consumption and health has been a topic of discussion again recently. A good reason for WINELIFE to let the expert have a say on the subject.
Text: Marietta Bertleff / Image: Shutterstock

Smoking is by now truly a social taboo, and partly because of this, many have quit. But there are more bears on the road to a healthy existence. Because for a while now, we have had another threat to our general well-being: the consumption of alcohol. Indeed, it seems to be the case that it is carcinogenic. People refer to studies by the World Health Organization. There are also other studies, albeit of very varying quality, showing the possible relationship between alcohol and cancer. But there are also a lot that show just the opposite.                                                                                                                                            


Let's start with the French paradox. Irish physician Samuel Black had already noticed in 1819 that the French, compared to other Europeans, suffered less from cardiovascular disease. While at the same time, they were European champions at eating a lot of saturated fats. The explanation for this discrepancy was sought in the very regular intake of red wine. It took a while after that, but in the 1980s, international studies indeed proved that drinking wine can be healthy. The French live longer, despite their higher fat and alcohol consumption, and this is due to the protective effect of wine, the research showed. After all, wine is packed with healthy substances.

In the right dosage, the polyphenols in red wine are actually healthy



Sometimes we forget, but wine is made from grapes. From the Vitis vinifera to be precise: this plant produces certain substances called polyphenols to protect itself from harmful external influences such as UV radiation, bacteria and fungi. The polyphenols are mainly found in the skin, seeds and stems of the grape. During the crushing and pressing of the grapes, they enter the juice for the future wine. Polyphenols is a collective name for various bioactive substances. And there are as many as 5,000 of them. The most well-known polyphenols are flavonoids, anthocyanins and resveratrol. 

EQUALLY TECHNICAL, BUT IMPORTANT                                                                                   

It may all be a bit technical, but the evidence of the good properties of (red) wine is a motley collection of facts. For example, about the effect of the good compounds in wine: the flavonoids, anthocyanins and resveratrol.                                  


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