I think we have all heard that red wine is good for us, I know that I’ve said that a few times. But is it really? I’ve read a number of studies and there is a consensus. There are a number of compounds in red wine that have health benefits; not only for your heart but also for your brain.-Really!
The compounds are called phenolic acids and polyphenols. Essentially they are antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body and cells from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. One of the most well known examples of this type of damage is in your blood vessels. The the free radicals damage the lining of your blood vessel walls. They get rough and damaged so plaque forms, resulting in atherosclerosis. So, you can fight that damage by consuming higher levels of antioxidants, that happen to be found in wine. Good news, huh?
More good news! There is research that shows a reduction in symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Both of these brain based diseases have similar underlying protein folding problems. The polyphenols found in red wine have been shown to have not only antioxidant properties but also neuroprotective properties. The studies show that moderate consumption of red wine as part of a Mediterranean type diet can even help you in preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.
What is moderate you may ask? I asked the same thing. There does not seem to be a specific amount listed in the journal articles. So here are some things I can tell you related to alcohol poisoning and the brain. Your cerebellum is sensitive to the alcohol you consume in the red wine. That’s why when you exceed the ability of your body and brain to detoxify the effects you get a little woozy, walk a little funny and maybe even fall down. That’s too much! Alcohol is a toxin and needs to be processed out. So when you drink your red wine stop before you feel drunk. Oops, that might be too late. One, maybe two, glasses but that’s it. Stay safe and don’t reverse the cardio and brain protective effects with liver damage.
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Tamara Lund, Doctor of Chiropractic, Diplomat American Chiropractic Neurology Board
Red wine consumption increases antioxidant status and decreases oxidative stress in the circulation of both young and old humans
- Michelle Micallef†,
- Louise Lexis† and
- Paul Lewandowski†Email author