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Home Wine Basics Health Benefits and Risks of Wine

Health Benefits and Risks of Wine


For thousands of years wine has been recommended as a miracle tonic for a variety of health defects. In some cases, such as use as a disinfectant, science has borne out these old recommendations. But some of the other wine prescriptions have had grim effects. What do we know about the impact of wine on health now?

We do know that grapes are very nutritious. It isn't surprising in light of this that there are many short and long term health benefits to the consumption of any product containing grapes. For example, darker grapes, such as those used in red wine, provide a many benefits to the bloodstream. As a result, those who consume plenty of dark grapes have reduced incidence of coronary disease and infections. These darker grapes are full of flavanoids, which aid in the functions of both white and red blood cells.

Some types of cancer may also have a lower incidence in those who consume plenty of dark grapes. This is thought in large part to be the result of the high antioxidant counts in grapes. Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals that can damage cells.

Another benefit of dark grapes to the circulatory system involves cholesterol. Grapes help encourage HDL cholesterol to form and discourage the formation of LDL cholesterol. A healthier cholesterol ratio is the natural result.


In areas where clean water is rare, the alcohol found in all types of wine may help kill off any pathogens in the wine. Wine may also kill off bacteria in the gut, both good and bad. While long term consumption of alcohol is a poor substitute for water, it may be the safest choice in short term situations of clean water scarcity and high infection rates.

It should be noted that alcohol doesn't metabolize as quickly as processed sugars. So drinking little bit of alcohol rather than consuming candy or soda may help some people avoid or delay diabetes. On the negative side, regular, moderate alcohol consumption is linked to drastic increases in a wide variety of cancers. Of particular concern for women is the increased risk of breast cancer. Women who have history of breast cancer in their family should not consume alcoholic beverages.

Some people may also be sensitive to the sulfites commonly found in wines. Wines do have there fair share of simple sugars too, though not as much as what is found in most sodas.

Those with family histories or personal histories of liver, digestive tract, or kidney problems should not drink anything with alcohol. Those who have trouble limiting alcoholic intake should also avoid all alcoholic beverages. Those taking any medications should not drink alcoholic beverages.

So we are left with the fact that drinking wine has many health benefits, as it is made of grapes, and a mixed bag of health risks, as it contains alcohol. Educate yourself moe fully about these facts.