Is Red Wine Good for the Heart?

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This question has been kicked around for nearly three decades now. And the answer is still a big, fat “maybe.”

Is Red Wine Good for the Heart?

The conversation about health benefits of red wine started in the late 1980s when “The French Paradox” came to light. It seems that French people had a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease, in spite of their generally high-fat diet.

Enter resveratrol and the thousands of scientific studies to confirm or refute its health benefits as well as those of red wine. Polyphenols are a group of antioxidants in red wine, but resveratrol is the polyphenol that has received the most attention.

5 Possible Health Benefits of Red Wine

The possible health benefits of resveratrol – and therefore, red wine – are wide-ranging:

  • Increase HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Inhibit the formation of blood clots
  • Helps prevent artery damage
  • Improve the function of the layer of cells that line your blood vessels (endothelium)

While some research indicates red wine may have heart-healthy benefits, other studies say that other wines, beer or spirits may have similar benefits.

Still, other studies found no benefits to resveratrol or alcohol in preventing heart disease.

Maybe you want to avoid alcohol completely and still benefit from the possible health benefits of resveratrol. There are other sources! Try eating red or purple grapes or drinking grape juice. Peanuts, dark chocolate, cranberries, and blueberries are also good sources of resveratrol, without the possible morning after effects from over-consumption.

If you choose red wine to accomplish your intake of resveratrol, keep in mind daily recommendations of one 5-ounce glass for women and no more than two glasses for men.

With no conclusive evidence of health benefits from red wine and resveratrol, the studies will continue. So, if you’re so inclined, pour yourself a glass of your favorite cabernet, or break off a piece of that dark chocolate bar…or maybe a little of both. And enjoy them all in moderation. Cheers!

Have you taken our Heart Health Risk Assessment? Compare your heart’s actual age to your heart’s biological age and learn your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Select the location closest to you then discuss the results with your doctor.