Search Articles

Please Share

FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditTechnoratiLinkedin

Subscribe to Blog via RSS

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Sponsors

Search for Events

Sponsors

Most Read Articles

Wine & Health

Research: Wine Consumption Increases Breast Cancer Risk, Resveratrol Aids Metabolic Processes

Today’s medical research news is bad news and good news bad news. Separate research exposes more dangers for women who consume alcohol and shows promise for resveratrol, but in quantities that could not be safely achieved through consumption of red wine alone.

450px-Breast_Cancer_Awareness_263497131Wine Consumption and Breast Cancer Risk

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has published research which concludes that consistent, moderate alcohol consumption by women aged 20 - 40 increases their risk of breast cancer by 15%. Moderate, in this case, was defined as three to six glasses of wine per week — normal glasses, not big restaurant pours. Furthermore, the study suggests that greater consumption, the equivalent of two glasses of wine per day, brings a 50% increased likelihood of breast cancer.

Overall consumption being equal, binge drinking seemed to carry more risk than consumption of lower volumes at greater frequency. Drinking before the age of 20 and after 40 were said to bring risk as well, but were not a focus of this particular study.

Resveratrol and Metabolic Health

Meanwhile, the journal Cell Metabolism has published an article called Calorie Restriction-like Effects of 30 Days of Resveratrol Supplementation on Energy Metabolism and Metabolic Profile in Obese Humans. Based on a Dutch medical study of limited scope [11 men were tested], the article says large dose resveratrol supplements administered daily for one month considerably improved metabolic health in the otherwise healthy obese men. Specifically, the supplementation decreased the men’s sleeping and resting metabolic rates, the fat content of their livers, inflammation in their plasma and muscles, levels of blood sugar and cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, etc. The researchers likened the effect to that of decreasing caloric intake by 50 percent.

The results of the resveratrol test were extremely positive and no negative impact was noted. However, the study was very short in duration. There is no way to know if long-term treatment would bear continuing benefit or might have a medical downside. The study did not test lower dosages.

The bad news is that virtually every article touts this and similar studies as showing positive benefits for “an active ingredient in red wine.” It’s true that resveratrol is found in red wine in greater concentration than other foods. But levels of the substance in wine are still very low. A full 750ml bottle of red wine contains between 1.5 and 5mg of resveratrol, about twice as much ounce for ounce as in peanuts.

The Dutch study administered 150mg of resveratrol to each man daily. You would need to drink about 25 liters of wine per day to achieve the same dosage. Perhaps the marketing people and headline writers can give that a try and let us know how it goes.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2011 NorCal Wine. Pink Ribbon photo from Breast Cancer Awareness. All rights reserved.

Researcher on Health Benefits of Resveratrol and Red Wine Falsified Data

advisory_dasThe Associated Press and CBS are reporting that reseveratrol rearcher Dr. Dipak Das, University of Connecticut, has published research on numerous occasions using made-up data. An three-year long internal investigation by the university cites 145 uses of faked data within the past seven years. Eleven scientific journals in which Das’s research was published have been cautioned that his work is now suspect.

The University of Connecticut is in the process of firing Dr. Das. He has worked there since 1994 and is currently both a professor of surgery and director of the Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Further investigations into the validity of his research are now underway. The university has not yet disclosed which research is known to be compromised. Among Das' areas of research is the use of plants, or chemicals found in plants, for medical purposes.

According to his biography on the website of the Natural Health Research Institute,  Dipak Das has published more than 500 peer-reviewed papers and is himself on the editorial board for numerous journals. He is also editor-in-chief for the Antioxidant and Redox Signaling Journal.

Since the broadcast of Morley Safer’s 60 Minutes piece on “The French Paradox” in 1991, investigation into — and breathless reporting on — potential health benefits of red wine has surged. Likewise, consumption of red wine, sometimes under the direction of doctors, has grown substantially in the United States. The video report suggested that the French suffer fewer heart attacks, despite rich diets, due in part to their consumption of red wine. Research into the phenomenon has led to the phenol resveratrol as a possible reason for the French’s good cardiac health.

An example of Das’s work, Resveratrol in Cardioprotection: A Therapeutic Promise of Alternative Medicine, can be downloaded (pdf) here. That paper suggests resveratrol is a cardiac preconditioning agent, said to be the best means of cardioprotection. In the conclusion, Das states “There has been a desperate search for pharmaceutical pre-conditioning agents. Resveratrol appears to fulfill the definition of
 a pharmaceutical preconditioning compound.” We will soon know if Das’s response to that “desperate search” included falsification of data in resveratrol studies.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

How to Protect Your Health with the Standard Drink

The Standard Drink is a simple tool you can use to protect your health. It helps you measure your alcohol consumption. Doctors and medical researchers agree, and we all know, that drinking too much alcohol has negative health consequences. Whether the excess comes in the form of binge drinking or an extended period of less dramatic but still excessive consumption, too much alcohol takes a toll on you. Excessive drinking is known to increase the risk of some types of cancer, disease of the heart, liver, pancreas, brain, other organs, and more.

Read more: How to Protect Your Health with the Standard Drink

Good News, Bad News about Alcohol in Wine

I spotted a couple of interesting articles recently about the alcohol in wine and how it does or does not affect our bodies.

First the good news. Drinking too much wine or beer does not increase your risk of acute pancreatitis. Specifically, the medical study looked at people drinking 5 or more standard drinks on a single occasion. Consuming equal amounts of distilled spirits does appear to raise the odds of developing the disorder. The study, published recently in the British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd, is now available online (pdf download).

The take-away here is that, while binge drinking is ill-advised can lead to early death for any number of reasons, if you limit yourself to wine and beer acute pancreatitis is no more likely to do you in than would otherwise have been the case. Woo hoo! Or something.

Now the bad news. Well, it’s not really bad news for everybody, just those who think that any level of alcohol in wine is fine as long as the wine tastes and feels balanced. And for those of you who monitor your consumption solely on the number of glasses you consume rather than the alcohol content therein. Drinking wine with 15% alcohol will get you drunk faster than the same amount of wine with 12%.

That’s not very surprising. But this is. The effect of alcohol percentage on blood alcohol content (BAC) is not necessarily proportional. According to gastroenterologist Michael Apstein writing in the SF Chronicle, the 25% boost in a wine’s alcohol can make a 35% difference in blood alcohol. Your situation may vary, based on your body weight, the frequency and typical quantity of your alcohol consumption, metabolism, age, etc.

But think very hard about getting behind the wheel unless you know exactly how much you’ve had to drink and what it’s effect on you has been. If you are a 130-pound woman who drank 10 ounces of wine over 90 minutes, the difference between 13% alcohol wine and 14% is the difference between being legally sober and legally drunk.

Review Apstein’s article carefully. As always, I also suggest knowing what the alcohol content of the wine you drink is, and what a 5-ounce pour looks like. If you’re in the position of needing to drive after you’ve had any alcohol, you should seriously consider buying a very good quality personal breathalyzer too. And remember that blood alcohol levels can continue to go up after you’ve stopped drinking as your body absorbs what’s in your stomach.

 

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2011 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.