British Medical Journal
Trichopolou and colleagues point out the important contribution of every component in the Greek villager's diet to enhancing health and longevity. This includes wine as part of this optimal diet. Wine is consumed in moderation and almost always during meals, they state in their paper.
The favorable effects of consuming wine as part of a meal receive further support from a new study that analyzed how wine with dinner affected the composition of lipids (fats) in the bloodstream. A. Van Tol and colleagues at Erasmus University in Rotterdam report in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation that wine consumption with dinner compared with mineral water conferred a positive influence on triglyceride, total cholesterol and beneficial HDL-cholesterol that remained detectable until early the next morning. Their findings are based on 11 days of controlled diet and blood analysis on eight healthy male volunteers ages 45 - 55.
In addition, wine's reputation as a mealtime beverage with positive health attributes received a new boost from a study recently published in the British Medical journal. Researchers led by Dr. Martin Weisse of West Virginia University report that both red and white wine efficiently wipe out bacteria responsible for most illnesses caused by food.
While the study is preliminary, done in petri dishes rather than on humans, the results are dramatic. About ten million colony-forming units of shigella, salmonella and E coli bacteria were added to red wine, white wine, bismuth saticylate and solutions of pure alcohol and tequila. Wine was three to four times as effective as bismuth salicylate, the active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol, in eradicating the bacteria, the researchers report. The tequila and alcohol were even less effective.
Research is especially active now on the phenolic compounds front.
At least half a dozen studies have just been published providing
further evidence of the beneficial antioxidant properties of wine
phenolics. Studies also continue to associate moderate consumption
of wine and alcohol with lower risk of disease conditions such
as arthritis and diminished bone density. I will provide an update
on these topic next time.