Does not a day go by that we don’t hear something about the positive or negative effects of wine or alcohol? I began to research the health effects of wine, weather it be red or white. What I found was an abundance of information that almost anyone looking to find “their” answer would be successful. As I began this study, I became increasingly interested in the research of those studies. In other words I became less interested in the health effects of the wine itself, but more interested in the studies conducted. Wine itself cannot be entirely at fault, nor considered to be the “cure all” in modern day. As I journeyed through some of this research, the only thing I can really say for sure is, “the mice must be having a great time”!mice1

Although the consumption of wine dates back a couple years ago when it was (well, it still is) used for a variety of reasons including celebration, as a replacement for poor drinkable water, as a sedative or medicinal reasons, just to name a few. Although it’s been around a long time, health effects of wine have only been researched for about 20 years; however, the health effects of wine have not been completely separated from the health effects of some of the components of the wine (e.g. alcohol, grapes, grape skin, resveratrol etc). As scientists and researchers move further into studying the various health effects of the certain components, more evidence is released indicating additional studies and breakthroughs in one of the subcomponents of the wine (e.g. resveratrol) These breakthroughs will continue well into the future as more studies are conducted and research methodologies and equipment become better and more refined.

mice2So far, the only qualified documented research of any of the wine’s components has only been documented in mice. Mice are given dosages far beyond the capacities that can be tolerated by humans. In order to conduct a scientific study on humans would take 45-75 years until each member of the study group dies. Then as each component is broken down into subcomponents, each of those subcomponents would need to be broken down further into sufficient studies all of their own. Let’s use this analogy: If a qualified pool of study candidates is used; say one-thousand 21-year-old males; the study of the health effects would have to take into account variables like age, weight, weight loss/gain, diet, heredity, regional living conditions two-drinks per day, etc.). Mice are much better candidates for reasons only scientists will really know, but I have my assumptions. If you ask me . . . mice don’t talk back, the variable living conditions can be more accurately controlled, they react to stimuli (alcohol, wine or one of the subcomponents) during daylight hours when they can be studied by sober scientists; and when they throw-up from drinking too much, it makes a much smaller mess to clean up.

Wikipedia offers the best analogy: “This changing view of wine can be seen in the evolution of the language used in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Dietary Guidelines. The 1990 edition of the guidelines contained the blanket statement that “wine has no net health benefit”. By 1995, the wording had been changed to allow moderate consumption with meals providing the individual had no other alcohol-related health risk. From a research perspective, scientists began differentiating alcohol consumption among the various classes of beverages – wine, beer and spirits. This distinction allowed studies to highlight the positive medical benefits of wine apart from the mere presence of alcohol. However wine drinkers tend to share similar lifestyle habits – better diets, regular exercise, non-smoking – that may in themselves be a factor in the supposed positive health benefits compared to drinkers of beer and spirits or those who abstain completely”.

mice3Through my research I have found so many dissimilarities of these benefits. I have also found disparaging dissimilarities for the use of the word “moderation”. It seems the use of the word “moderation” is used to protect humans, scientists and producers involved in these studies against legal actions should future developments in the scientific research break new ground. Due to the wine’s component of alcohol; the use of the word “moderation” makes sense. Too much alcohol can kill you. We know that! Does research indicate that there are health benefits to humans with the consumption of wine? That has not yet been discerned from the health benefits of the alcohol, or the health benefits with the subcomponents of the wine like resveratrol. These studies that are available for our review have only been performed with mice, in concentrates that would prove lethal to humans if they were to be consumed using the amounts found in wine. In other words, you have to drink a lot of wine to get the same dosages studied in mice. I think I’m beginning to envy mice. Hey, I wanna party with those guys!

LOOK OUT ! ! !

Foodie

Works Cited

“23 New Molecules Discovered In Red Wine | Asian Scientist Magazine |  Science, Technology and Medicine News Updates From Asia.” Asian Scientist Magazine |  Science, Technology and Medicine News Updates From Asia. N.p., 14 Aug. 2013. Web. 18 Aug. 2013. <http://www.asianscientist.com/in-the-lab/23-molecules-discovered-red-wine-2013/&gt;.

Castillo, Michelle. “Red wine compound resveratrol may negate health benefits of exercise – CBS News.” Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News – CBS News. N.p., 23 July 2013. Web. 18 Aug. 2013. <http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57595110/red-wine-compound-resveratrol-may-negate-health-benefits-of-exercise/&gt;.

“Harvard School of Public Health » The Nutrition Source » Alcohol: Balancing Risks and Benefits.” Harvard School of Public Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Aug. 2013. <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/alcohol-full-story/&gt;.

“Health effects of wine – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Aug. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_wine&gt;.

Quinlan, Cristine. “8 Health Benefits of Drinking Wine | Food & Wine.” Food & Wine Magazine | Recipes, Menus, Chefs, Wine, Cooking, Holidays, Entertaining. N.p., 1 Oct. 2007. Web. 18 Aug. 2013. <http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/8-health-benefits-of-drinking-wine&gt;.

“Red wine, antioxidants and resveratrol: Good for your heart? – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., 17 May 2011. Web. 18 Aug. 2013. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-wine/HB00089&gt;.

Scutti, Suzan. “Cell Phones And Cancer: 2 Studies Provide New Evidence Of A Possible Link.” Medical Daily. N.p., 16 Apr. 2013. Web. 18 Aug. 2013. <http://www.medicaldaily.com/cell-phones-and-cancer-2-studies-provide-new-evidence-possible-link-249317&gt;.

MLA formatting by BibMe.org.

2 Comments

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