A glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away, says new study
Those who drink wine moderately are less prone to diabetes, stomach disorders and kidney and gallstones, writes James Le Fanu.
A glass of good wine is a gracious thing”, wrote Sir Walter Scott, “for it reconciles poor mortality to itself”.
Two glasses (or more) can be better still, a panacea that retards the ageing process. Put simply, it runs like this. Many of the infirmities of age are due to “wear and tear’’, warranting running repairs — new hips, knees, lenses and so on. But this does not account for the more generalised decline of physical fitness with age and the tendency for common conditions, such as diabetes or raised blood pressure, to become more prevalent in later years.
Blood tests for “inflammatory markers’’ in those in their seventies and beyond are consistently elevated, suggesting that some of those “chronic diseases of ageing” might be exacerbated by low-grade inflammation in the tissues. And, if so, then the anti-inflammatory polyphenol compounds present in wine might be a useful preventive measure.
There is now, argues Dr Arsun Bektas in the journal Age and Ageing, “compelling’’ reasons for supposing this is the case.
The reduced risk of circulatory disorders in moderate drinkers is familiar enough, but they also tend to be more robust and less prone to thinning of the bones, diabetes, mild hypertension, stomach disorders and kidney and gallstones. This must rank among the most significant medical discoveries of recent years.
Red wine by numbers (based on a small glass):
√ 95 calories
√ 10g of alcohol
√ 1 unit (based on recommended weekly limit of alcohol)
√ 3.8g of carbohydrates
√ 4pc of daily recommended amount of iron
√ 1 large (175ml) glass of red wine = 1 slice of takeaway pizza