Health Benefits and Risks of Drinking Wine

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Man pouring red wine in glass

The link between wine and health continues to be a highly debated topic. With so much information out there, it's sometimes difficult to decide if wine positively or negatively affects your health.

Wine and Health Benefits

Today, many health professionals agree that wine, especially red wine, has many health benefits.

Protect Blood Vessels and Heart Lining

Red wine contain special antioxidants called polyphenols that are helpful to heart health. Polyphenol compounds in wine help to prevent damage of the protective tissue around blood vessels.

Reduces LDL

A specific polyphenol, known as resveratrol, is believed to protect the heart by lowering levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol). This helps to prevent the build-up of the arterial plaque that can lead to heart disease.

Raises HDL Levels

Some studies have shown that wine raises the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) with regular, moderate use. The higher HDl levels may help remove cholesterol deposits from your arteries and guard against heart attacks.

Prevents Blood Clots

Research also has shown that wine can decrease the clustering of platelets. These cells are important for blood clotting, but the reduction of them within the body can help lower the risk of a dangerous blood clot forming that could block an artery and lead to a heart attack.

May Be Linked to Cancer Prevention

The antioxidants found in wine may also play a part in preventing cancer. Several studies revealed that wine's antioxidants slowed or suppressed the growth of cancer cells.

Improved Bone Density

Interested in another insider benefit of drinking wine? Moderate wine intake has also shown to be linked to better bone density. The compounds found in wine may decrease calcium loss that leads to thinner bones, leading to improved bone density.

Health Skin Care

Used externally, wine also has some interesting health benefits as well. Some of the great hacks for leftover wine including making facial masks or serums that improve skin tone and health!

Risk Factors of Drinking Wine

Although many health providers are optimistic about the potential health benefits wine offers, it's important to remember that there are risk factors as well. The benefits of wine are seen in moderate drinking; overindulging and drinking to excess is problematic not only because you'll have to find a hangover cure, but it can also cause or exacerbate numerous other health issues. In addition to the possibility of drinking too much, there are also other risks. Moderate drinking is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men, with one drink being defines as five ounces of wine.

Risk of Alcoholism

Any amount of alcohol can present a potential risk for alcoholism, but this is especially important for those who are predisposed to or have a family history of the disease. In these cases, it may be better not to consume wine and look for alternative antioxidant sources.

Higher Risk of Some Cancers

According to the National Cancer Institute, drinking any alcoholic beverage is associated with an increased risk for certain types of cancers. These include liver cancer, esophageal cancer, breast cancer, and cancers of the head and neck.

Potential Weight Gain

The extra calories in a glass of wine could lead to a potential weight gain. If you are trying to lose weight or having difficulty maintaining your current weight, the additional calories in your evening glass of wine could be impeding your efforts. Consider drinking wine every other day rather than every evening, try a light, low-calorie wine instead of the standard versions, or choose wines that are lower in carbs.

Wine and Health

There are many links between and better health, but there are also important risk factors to consider as well. For many people, enjoying a glass of wine with dinner can improve heart health and provide important health-boosting antioxidants.

Health Benefits and Risks of Drinking Wine