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Showing posts from January, 2012

Is alcohol necessary for wine’s health benefits?

High on the list of controversies about wine and health is the alcohol question, one I get asked about every time I do a seminar on the subject. Why not grape juice, or for that matter wine's goodness in a pill? New research from the University of Barcelona took the question head on and it's good news for wine drinkers.

There are so many thousands of papers on wine and health now that you can be forgiven for not keeping up (which I am taking care of for you here) but in order to understand the implications of this latest study we need a little background. For one, as I said in the book, wine is not just grape juice without the alcohol; the content of polyphenols antioxidants is much higher in wine for several reasons (for another, grape juice is high in sugar.) There is a great temptation to assume that we could just take the polyphenols from grapes and put them into supplement form, which indeed many have. For non drinkers and occasions where wine consumption is inappropriate, …

New evidence that red wine lowers risk of breast cancer

Does drinking red wine increase risk of breast cancer? If you have been following the news over the past few years, you might have a hard time justifying that glass of wine with dinner, as we are told that even in moderation the risk of breast cancer increases. But as I have said here before (see post from Nov 2 2011), the whole topic is widely misunderstood and oversimplified, despite the declarations of medical authorities. But a new study helps to shed some light on the subject.
So why is the party line so negative on wine? At first glance, the evidence seems overwhelming: dozens of studies showing that consumption of alcohol in any form – red or white wine, beer, spirits – increases chances of developing breast cancer by about 10% per drink per day. Some of these studies are quite large, with thousands of women surveyed. A closer analysis reveals some serious problems however. To begin with, any time there are dozens of population studies all looking at the same question, we may fa…