George Burns said, “It only takes one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or the fourteenth.”
While no health professional would advocate drinking to excess, many are beginning to recommend one to two drinks a day, particularly if that drink is red wine.
Red wine has been getting attention because of a specific type of antioxidant it contains called Resveratrol. The Mayo Clinic reports that some studies suggest this antioxidant may prevent damage to blood vessels, reduce (LDL) cholesterol--the "bad" cholesterol---and prevent blood clots. Dr. R. Scott Turner, director of the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University Medical Center recently published a study in the journal, Neurology, that showed resveratrol may stabilize the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Eric Rimm, an associate professor of nutrition at Harvard Medical School, states that some studies have found that women who drink red wine eat fewer sweet foods, possibly because alcohol stimulates the same pleasure center in the brain as sweets, and thus, could prevent weight gain.
The suggested amounts of red wine would be one glass a day for women and two for men. However, the American Heart Association does not recommend that you start drinking alcohol just to prevent heart disease. And, all health professionals would remind you that all of these studies show very modest effects. However, if you already enjoy red wine, it’s good to know it can be part of a healthy diet.
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