Wine and Health

A large glass of red wineIt’s that time of the week again, time to crack open a bottle to share and time to wonder about the health effects or otherwise of wine. There have been hints for years that various antioxidant components of wine, and red wine in particular, could be protective against cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and stroke, basically). Although I’ve reported on some of those studies, I’ve always been rather skeptical of the claims they make because fundamentally imbibing large quantities of a volatile organic solvent (VOC) (ethanol) is not really a good idea (think brain and liver damage). More to the point, we need free radicals to help our immune systems ward off pathogens, so couldn’t stifling them cause more problems than they fix.

Anyway, toxicity is always about dose. However, anyone who has suffered the morning after the night before will know all about the toxic side effects and the downside of ingesting ethanol. the downside is far more well documented in fact than any of the purported benefits of the antioxidant congeners.

So well document in fact are the side-effects that governments are considering making health warnings on booze obligatory in the same way that they are for cigarettes in many places. It makes sense, even if some people cry: “Nanny state gone mad!”. At least those who are unaware of the serious risks associated with overindulging in flavoured ethanol solutions will hopefully get the message and make the right choice.

Now, where did I put that corkscrew..?

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3 thoughts on “Wine and Health

  1. Joseph – As you say “substance” use and abuse seem to be ingrained deep in our psyche, maybe that psyche knows more than we care to credit it for about what we need…

    Mitch – A fifteen-year-old tawny, would be my recommendation…

  2. No-one these days could be ignorant about the health risks of either smoking or drinking, or the ingestion of any other form of mind-altering substance. Yet we still indulge en masse. Something deep within our physche makes us yield to temptation. Labels are eiher ignored or seen as nannying and then ignored. To stop people from destroying their internal organs through wilful imbibing of dangerous substances, we should perhaps look at why we can’t live without them.

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