Can Drinking Wine Make You Live Longer?

In a previous post (see link below), I described the various long-term financial ramifications and cost savings that could result, depending on the type of wine you choose to buy.

My Money Blog – Comparison of Wine Prices

In this post, I briefly mentioned the commonly known hypothesis that drinking two glasses of wine per day will result in better health and longer life. However, is this really the truth? And if so, how does it work? What causes you to have longer life? Does this benefit come from all wines or just some specific types?

The answers to these questions will be the topic of today’s post. Let’s get started.

Does Drinking Wine Help You Live Longer?
To gain an insight in to this ongoing debate, we first need to know if drinking wine helps you live longer.

And, through an investigation of the two articles from Xomba.com and Webmd.com (can be found at the links below), it appears that the answer to this question is, “yes.”

Xomba.com – Will Drinking Wine Help You Live Longer?
Webmd.com – Does Drinking Wine Give Longer Life?

The results showed that men who drank less than half a half glass of wine per day lived an average of five years longer than men who avoided wine completely. They also had a lower risk of heart disease and heart attack.

To my surprise, the results are much less clear for women. While some studies have shown that there is potential for women to improve their heart health by drinking small amounts of wine, other studies have shown that drinking even small amounts of this delightful drink could result in an increased risk of breast cancer, a disease that is already horribly prevalent in the women population.

How Does Drinking Wine Help You Live Longer?
While the study results conclusively support the finding that drinking wine improves health (at least in men), scientists are not certain of what exactly causes the improvement to occur. Nonetheless, there are several hypotheses attempting to explain the result.

Hypothesis 1) Wine is a source of phytochemicals, including flavonoids and polyphenols, that contribute to wine’s ability to increase lifespan. According to the link below, although the experiments are currently ongoing, flavonoids show potential to stabilize blood capillaries (i.e. improve cardiovascular health) and excite enzymes that destroy mutagens (i.e. reducing risk of cancer) in the body.

Wikipedia.org – Flavonoids


Hypothesis 2) Wine is a source of resveratol. According to the link below from Wikipedia, resveratol is a chemical that occurs naturally in certain plants to protect from attack of bacteria, fungi, and other microscopic predators.

Resveratol has currently been shown in mice and rats to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, blood-sugar-lowering and other beneficial cardiovascular effects (similar to what is seen from a calorie-restricted diet). However, conclusive results have yet to be seen in humans.


Wikipedia – Resveratrol

What Types of Wine Carry This Benefit?
As it turns out, white wine drinkers are out of luck when it comes to lifespan extensions. The reason for this is due to the manners in which white and red wine are made. White wine is made from the juice of the grapes, and red wine is made using the whole grape.

And, since the skin is where the chemicals discussed above are created and stored, red wine is the only type of wine that offers health benefits (in small quantities of course).

What’s the Bottom Line?
So, although it is not yet determined exactly what the cause is, it is certain that small quantities of red wine (1-2 glasses per day) do improve health and increase lifespan in men. So, drink up men!

For women, even though the results are less “cut and dry,” I still wouldn’t worry too much about indulging in a glass or two every day – especially if it is something that gives you happiness!

Keep on learning!

Jacob

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