Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Wine News

Resveratrol - a chemical found in grape skins and other fruit - has been linked to all sorts of health benefits in a number of studies over the past decade.  A Wine Spectator article now suggests that while resveratrol may well have an impact against cancer, diabetes, heart disease and dementia, the recent idea that it may help increase lifespan is getting a suspicious eye from researchers.

Studies showed that resveratrol activated proteins called sirtuins - which regulate cell metabolism.  Those studies are being discounted after more studies showed that the increased longevity brought on by sirtuin activation is possibly due not to
resveratrol, but to a different mutation which occured during the experiments.

This is bad news for the pharmaceutical companies that have poured millions upon millions of dollars into resveratrol as a "fountain of youth" drug.

David Gems, a geneticist at University Collge London, says, "We found that sirtuins don't actually increase lifespan in the animals that we looked at, the nematode worms and fruit flies.  This suggests that even a drug that did activate sirtuins would not slow aging."

Resveratrol is still seen as a viable agent against some diseases, so drinking red wine in moderation is still considered a healthy thing to do.  The notion that wine contains a "silver bullet" to combat aging, however, is no longer widely held in the scientific community.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011


Wine News

Will future space travelers leave the Tang behind and opt for a pouch or two of red wine?  A study by scientists at the University of Strasbourg in France, reported by MSNBC, suggests that red wine may be beneficial to people who find themselves in prolonged periods of weightlessness.

Resveratrol - the ingredient in red wine which has been tabbed with many other beneficial attributes - now appears to combat side effects of being in space.  Bone density loss and insulin resistance are cited as problems apparently averted by the ingestion of resveratrol.

The researchers say spacemen aren't the only ones who can benefit from these findings.  People stuck here on earth who are sedentary due to disease, injury or just a desk job, might find red wine to be helpful.

Before you chuck your gym membership for a wine club, consider that the report states there is no reason to believe drinking wine is a substitute for good, old-fashioned exercise.

Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Wine News

The wine drinking scientists are at it again.  More correctly, it's the wine drinking scientists and their resveratrol-taking lab rats that are causing a clamor. Wine Spectator reported on this recently.

Red wine has been mentioned before as possibly reducing the risks associated with diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke.  Now, cellular biologists from LSU and the University of Nebraska Medical Center say they have found that red wine may help reverse mental deterioration suffered by people with diabetes.

The compound resveratrol - plentiful in red wine - is said to have restored brain function in diabetic rats.  It could be, say the labcoats, that resveratrol - acting as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant - increased blood circulation in the brain and lowered the risk of losing mental acuity.

The scientists speculate that the resveratrol relaxes the arteries in the brain, normalizing oxygen levels.  They further conclude that the compound can slightly decrease blood glucose concentration.  Resveratrol also appears to lessen the stress that can lead to strokes in diabetics.

How much resveratrol a human would have to ingest daily to get these results was not included in the report.  If more than a glass or two of red wine per day is required, there could be other debilitating factors that come into play.  As always, the researchers say more study is needed before recommending wine - or at least the resveratrol found in wine - as a prescription for diabetics.

Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Wine News

A new report seems to surface weekly on further findings of the health benefits of wine.  Wine has been reported to reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, clogged arteries, kidney stones, dementia - it has even been credited with prolonging life itself.

We know for sure it makes life more enjoyable, but now, according to an article in Wine Spectator, wine may help reduce bone loss in men over 50 years of age.

An Australian study found a correlation between red wine consumption and improved bone mineral density in men over 50.  Keeping your bone density high helps stave off osteoporosis.  The article cites the Surgeon General's figure of 44 million Americans who have osteoporosis and his prediction that half of the 50-plus set will have weak bones within ten years.

The researchers figure it may well be the contents of the grape skins which are beneficial to bone strength, and they also noted the possibility that silicon in beer could be a contributing factor.

At any rate, the scientists say a lot more research will be needed, and the head of the team said he wasn't in short supply of volunteers.

Be careful how much red wine you consume to keep your bones strong.  Over-indulging in alcoholic beverages contributes to a higher rate of bone fractures in older people.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Wine News

There's another report citing health benefits of drinking wine. Wine Spectator magazine reports the results of a study conducted in southern and central Italy, in which it appears a lifetime of drinking red wine reduces the risk of developing essential tremor.

Essential tremor is the name for the uncontrollable shaking developed by some elderly people, which may be associated with Parkinson's disease.

The study shows that drinking four or five glasses of red wine per day for 30 years or so reduces the risk of tremors by 85%.  Those who consumed three glasses a day over that same time frame showed a 65% lower risk.

While the study credits the antioxidants in red wine for the protection, it cautions that the results are not definitive.  The sample was only 200 people, and 22 of them did develop essential tremor during the study. 19 of those fit the profile of the low-risk category.

The article quotes the authors of the study, "Case-control studies are generally prone to several kinds of bias.  Larger ad-hoc studies are still needed to assess the role of alcohol drinking as a protective factor for developing essential tremor."

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Wine News

Reports of the health benefits related to alcohol consumption - particularly wine consumption - seem to pop up regularly.  Here's another one, which appeared recently in Wine Spectator magazine.

A German study has found that light to moderate drinking seems to help stave off the effects of dementia, even in people older than 75.  According to the article, "on average, the daily consumption of alcohol reduces the risk of dementia by nearly 30 percent compared to nondrinkers.  Additionally, the risk is another 30 percent lower for people who drink between one or two servings per day."

These are the findings from a three-year study of 3,200 patients.  Although the sample is small, the researchers put a lot of credence in the numbers, and so does the medical community.  The magazine says the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research found the results of the German study convincing.  The Forum also notes that "Happy people with many friends have the most opportunities for social drinking and, in this study, alcohol consumption was significantly associated with factors that are protective for the development of dementia: better education, not living alone and absence of depression."

Despite these issues, the study shows the risk of dementia to be lower among light to moderate drinkers, and lower still among those who drink wine.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Wine Teeth

If you drink red wine, you may have noticed a tendency for the wine's color to show up on your teeth.  This can result in a purple smile that's a common sight at wine tasting events.

An article in the online publication Palate Press offers some advice from a dental expert, Dr. Dan Marut, a dentist in Medford, Oregon.

He says the wine's acidity is at fault for breaking down your tooth enamel, which makes the teeth more porous.  This allows the color in a red wine to attach itself easily to your formerly pearly whites.  Even white wine does this damage, but has no color to leave.  However, after drinking white wine you may find stains from other foods becoming a problem.

Dr. Marut says don't reach for the toothbrush - not immediately, anyway.  Using abrasive toothpaste on your acid-washed teeth may actually do more damage.  You should rinse thoroughly, wait an hour and then brush your teeth.

As you have heard all your life, flossing is stressed by dental experts, and this case is no exception.  Regular visits to your dentist for a complete cleaning are also recommended.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Wine Report

If wine makes you suffer from headaches, stuffy nose, skin rash or other allergic symptoms, scientists may have found out why.

The American Chemical Society's Journal of Proteome Research reports that it appears glycoproteins may be at fault.  Glycoproteins are proteins covered with sugars that are produced naturally as grapes ferment.  Researchers found these glycoproteins had a structure similar to many known allergens, like the kind that cause reactions to ragweed and latex.

This discovery could lead to new methods in the winemaking process which would minimize the formation of glycoproteins and allow winemakers to offer hypo-allergenic red and white wines.

Wine allergies are said to affect about eight percent of the population - 500 million people worldwide - but only about one percent are blamed on sulfites, which are added to wine as a preservative.  The other seven percent have been a mystery - until now, according to the researchers.

It may be a while before this discovery helps people who are intolerant to wine, but at least you now know someone's working on it.