Longevity: Wine's anti-aging properties have been recognized for more than a thousand years. Monasteries throughout Europe were convinced that their monks' longer lifespans, compared to the rest of the population, was partly due to their daily consumption of wine. A 29-year long Finnish study shows that wine drinkers have a 34 percent lower mortality rate than beer or vodka drinkers. Again, this is attributed to the antioxidant resveratrol which is found in the skins of red grapes. A study carried out at the University of London found that compounds commonly found in red wine, called procyanidins, keep blood vessels healthy and are one of the factors that contribute towards longer life spans enjoyed by the wine consuming people of the Mediterranean region.
Reduced Infection: British and Spanish studies have shown that people who drink wine daily reduce their risk of infection by Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that causes gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer, by as much as 11 percent.
Ovarian problems: When Australian researchers recently compared women with ovarian cancer to cancer-free women, they found that roughly one glass of wine a day seemed to reduce the risk of the disease by as much as 50 percent. Earlier research at the University of Hawaii produced similar findings.
Stronger bones: Women who drink wine daily have higher bone mass than women who don’t drink wine. The wine appears to boost estrogen levels which slow the body’s destruction of old bones and cut the risk of osteoporosis -- age-related bone thinning related to calcium loss. A report in the American Journal of Epidemiology in April 2000 showed that women who drank the equivalent of one to three glasses of wine -- had greater bone mineral density, measured in the hip region of their thighbones, than nondrinkers or heavy drinkers. Bone mineral density is the measure physicians use to determine bone strength and resilience.
Diabetes: A Harvard Medical School study as well as a study by Amsterdam’s VU University show that premenopausal women who drink one or two glasses of wine daily are 40 percent less likely to develop type-2-diabetes than women who abstain.
Heart-Attack: A Harvard study shows that wine drinkers suffering from high blood pressure are 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack than non-drinkers, while another study conducted by Queen Mary University in London shows that red wine tannins contain procynidins which protect against heart disease. According to the January 2000 issue of European Heart Journal, red wine appears to dilate arteries and increase blood flow, thus lowering the risk of the kind of clots that cut off blood supply and damage heart muscles.
This is part two of a three-part list of wine's health benefits.