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Q. Does wine have real health benefits?

There is evidence that wine has health benefits, but here’s an important statement from the American Heart Association:

"Some researchers have suggested that the benefit may be due to wine, especially red wine. Others are examining the potential benefits of components in red wine such as flavonoids and other antioxidants in reducing heart disease risk. 

"Some of these components may be found in other foods such as grapes or red grape juice. The linkage reported in many of these studies may be due to other lifestyle factors rather than alcohol. Such factors may include increased physical activity, and a diet high in fruits and vegetables and lower in saturated fats No direct comparison trials have been done to determine the specific effect of wine or other alcohol on the risk of developing heart disease or stroke."

The reduction in heart-disease deaths may be caused by resveratrol, a substance found in the skin of grapes, especially purple and dark red grapes.

Resveratrol is also found in grape juice made from dark grapes. Both red wine and dark grape juice may reduce the risk of blood clots and LDL, the harmful cholesterol. Wine and juice may also prevent damage to coronary blood vessels, and maintain healthy blood pressure.

Both red wine and grape juice also contain antioxidants that have been shown to lower your risk of clogged arteries. The antioxidants may help lower blood pressure, too.

Fred Cicetti

Fred Cicetti is a freelance writer who specializes in health. He has been writing professionally since 1963. 

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