Wednesday, June 10, 2009

4 more reasons: counting to 101

41. Researchers at McGill University in Montreal have found that moderate drinking releases endorphins, those molecules in the brain that make you feel good. Marathon runners get this sort of natural high by running "through the wall" but I'd prefer moderation in both my exercise routine and drinking. Heavy drinking cancels the effect.
42. Bone density. A number of studies point to a positive correlation between moderate drinking and preservation of bone density with aging. Although this seems to hold for all categories of drinking (beer vs. wine vs. spirits) to some degreee, the association is most positive for wine. This is especially true for postmenopausal women, who are at greater risk for osteoporosis.
43. A study from UCLA (my alma mater) found that moderate drinkers are at lower risk for disabilities of any type as they age, as compared to nondrinkers or heavy drinkers. This is another example of the J-shaped curve.
44. Why you should have red wine with meat: I love a good steak as much as the next guy, but there is the downside of not only saturated fats but harmful oxidants (free radicals). Recent research has shown that when red wine is consumed along with the red meat, the formation of these harmful substances is thwarted. Not that you would hoist a glass of chardonnay with your prime rib anyway.

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