Red WineA recent study conducted at Harvard University in the U.S.A. again confirms the benefits of drinking moderate amounts of red wine. The study, using laboratory rats, confirmed earlier studies at other universities, including Yale, also in the USA, that red wine contains ingredients that reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood stream, reduces risks of some forms of cancer, and even helps prevent the outset of Altsheimer disease. The secret of red wine are ingredients known as polyphenol antioxidants and flavonoids which are said to come from the skin of red wine grapes. For years, the health attributes of drinking red wine have been known by millions of people; and the grandmotherly advice of drinking a glass of red wine before retiring at night is followed by many people. The cardiovascular benefits of red wine consumption has resulted in people living in countries where large quantities of red wine is consumed having less heart attacks and other related problems. Flavanoids also help prevent premature aging due to the antioxidants they contain. Polyphenol antioxidants have been talked about by nutrition experts as one of the main protections a person’s body has against aging.

While wine drinking may be healthful, it must be remembered that over-consumption of wine (and other alcoholic beverages) can have adverse effects on one’s health; including liver damage and diabetes (due to abnormal increase of blood sugar levels). Inexpensive commercial table wines also contain preserving and fermentation ingredients known as sulfides which can be very bad for people who are allergic to them. In the U.S.A., wines containing sulfides must state so on the bottle’s outside label. Few lower priced Israel wines have this warning, however; so if one is uncertain regarding this problem, it is a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s customer service department, or purchase more expensive wines which are naturally fermented and do not contain sulfides.

Many other food items also contain polyphenol antioxidants, but red wine grapes appear to have the highest level. Laboratory studies showed that moderate amounts of red wine consumed daily by the test subjects resulted in a marked decrease in cholesterol levels. Other types of wines do not contain the same levels of flavanoids and polyphenol antioxidants. These include white wines, fruit wines (from plums, apples, berries, etc), and rice and other wines made from grain.

The obvious secret to maintaining good physical health is to combine moderate red wine consumption with watching one’s diet and by regular exercise.