If you live on a calorie restricted diet, where you consume about half the normal calories, you may live a lot longer. You probably won't enjoy life, but you'll live. What if you could achieve the same effect by drinking red wine? Perhaps you can, in which case you might be able to enjoy the extra life you'd get!
Does drinking a bit of wine have good or negative health consequences? Scientific studies have produced mixed results. One of the latest indicates that drinking wine increases breast cancer rates. The increase isn't huge, but even drinking small amounts of wine is linked with some increase and that's enough to warrant concern.
Dr. Marinette Streppel led a team of researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands to study the long-term effects of alcohol consumption on men's health. What they found is that light consumption of alcohol provides about two extra years of life while light consumption of wine provides yet another three years of life, for a total of five years.
Gabriella Gazzani and colleagues at the faculty of pharmacy at the University of Pavia in Italy purchased basic supermarket wines (i.e., nothing special or aged) and found that they were able to limit the growth of bacteria responsible for tooth decay. Although the substances in wine responsible for controlling bacteria will work better when removed from the wine and used in concentration, people may still be able to get some of the benefits by drinking wine.
Resveratrol is a chemical which more and more medical researchers are studying because it seems to have lots of positive health benefits. Unfortunately for wine drinkers, you have to drink a lot of wine to get very much resveratrol; fortunately for everyone else, though, wine isn't the only place where natural resveratrol can be found.
Wine has long been used as a base for medicine and for a number of very good reasons, including: it dissolves medicinal compounds better than plain water and keeps them suspended for a longer period of time, it preserves medicinal compounds, and of course the alcohol provides some anesthetic effects. Just how long has wine been used as a base for medicine, though?
No one knows for sure, but papyri dating to 1850 BCE show that the ancient Egyptians had recipes for wine mixed with herbs for treating aliments, but those recipes are sophisticated enough that they must have been products of an older history of development. Now, compelling evidence of wine mixed with herbs has been found in wine jars dating to 3150 BCE.