Health Watch: Red wine drinkers digest meals better.

Tuesday, 12 March, 2013
Jacob Gaffney, Wine Spectator
Two new studies add to evidence that drinking red wine with meals brings health benefits.
Red wine linked to better digestion

A recent study by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found pairing turkey cutlets with red wine prevented the increase of malondialdehyde levels in human blood plasma. Malondialdehyde is a deleterious free radical molecule associated with oxidative stress. Red wine reduced its concentration by half in the research, published in the Journal of Functional Foods.

In another study, conducted by a team at a German university hospital in Bochum and published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, subjects who drank red wine while eating a high-fat meal of French fries and pork sausages experienced lower levels of inflammation in their blood vessels than those who drank other beverages.

By way of comparison, blood vessel inflammation was greatly increased if the subjects drank a Coke with the meal. The red wine could help prevent the onset of atherosclerosis, though the scientists concluded it may be better for people to avoid such high-fat meals altogether.

Could alcohol help keep you trim?

A team of researchers at French universities in Lille, Toulouse and Strasbourg has found that daily responsible consumption of alcohol may help keep men thinner. For the study, published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, the team monitored nearly 8,000 men, ages 50 to 59, beginning in 1991. Men who drank daily—nearly 75 percent of the men in the study—were most likely to be trim, as long as they avoided heavy consumption. Occasional drinkers—one to two days a week—were more likely to show signs of obesity, followed by frequent drinkers—three to five days a week.

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