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Wine = Health

Joe Riley

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Found this here (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11145653/) and thought I would share it

Why the French don't get as much heart disease

Even with high-fat diets, obesity rates are lower—is it the wine?

By Karen Collins, R.D.


Updated: 10:50 a.m. ET Feb. 3, 2006

How can the French eat a high-fat diet, yet face lower than expected rates of heart disease? This question has puzzled scientists for decades. Some people have thought that wine is such a beneficial drink that it can undo the damage of a rich diet. But research shows that much more than wine drinking affects the health of the French.

First, consider the rates of obesity in France. While 31 percent of Americans are so severely overweight that they are technically obese, only 11 percent of the French are obese. And this number is a recent development.

In 1997, approximately eight percent of French adults were obese. Because health problems due to excess weight take time to develop, current French health statistics reflect the impact of lower obesity rates in the past.

The rates of obesity aren’t the only difference between France and America. Studies suggest that even moderate overweight can raise the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and several forms of cancer.

In the U.S., 64 percent are now overweight or obese. French experts are worried about their country’s recent rise to over 41 percent, but this percentage is considerably less than ours.

Physical activity explains some of the lower incidence of both obesity and heart disease among the French. Although the French are not the most active in Europe, the average French adult achieves 30 to 60 minutes a day of moderate activity. Relatively few Americans exercise for this length of time.

The size of portions and people’s eating patterns probably contribute to the lower rates of overweight and obesity in France. Their portion sizes have been smaller than ours. Although French eating habits are changing, especially among young people, for many years people ate only three meals.

Round-the-clock availability of pizza, fast food and snacks was unknown. The traditional French style of eating, with lunch and dinner served in several courses over the length of more than an hour, makes less food seem like more and gives people a chance to feel full without stuffing themselves.

The French may have a higher consumption of butter and cheese, but if their calorie consumption is better matched to their level of activity, what seems like a diet too high in unhealthy fats may be less harmful than we imagine.

Portion control does limit the impact of the French diet. And they have traditionally eaten less of the trans fats that are so plentiful in the snack foods, fast food and frozen foods Americans eat.

Wine may play a role

Although France is geographically smaller than the U.S., regional differences in regard to diet and health are more pronounced. Those differences are relevant to the occurrence of chronic diseases. A recent study of middle-aged French adults shows that those in the southwest and Mediterranean areas still eat substantially less animal fat, including butter, and more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated olive and vegetable oils than those in northern areas. Health statistics follow these regional divisions.

Heart attacks and deaths due to heart disease are substantially higher in the north than the south. Certain cancers are also apparently more common in the north. The health of the French corresponds to their diet and lifestyle, much more than the phrase “French paradox” suggests.

Wine, however, may play some role in the heart health of France. Natural antioxidants in wine, which are also found in tea, grapes and other fruits, help keep LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in a less-damaging form.

French wine drinkers also tend to practice several healthy habits like keeping active and eating more than an average amount of vegetables and beans. Furthermore, at least one study shows that French adults who have one alcoholic drink a day are less likely to smoke than their countrymen who drink more or who abstain from alcohol.

© 2006 MSNBC Interactive

© 2006 MSNBC.com

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To me American's are too fat for 3 reasons:

Lack of exercise.

Eating too much processed packaged food at home rather than cooking and eating freshly prepared food.

Portion size, especially when they eat out, especially at national chain restaurants.

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Let me the first to say amen.

A substance found in red wine protected mice from the ill effects of obesity and extended their life spans . . . resveratrol, enabled mice that were fed a high-calorie, high-fat diet to live normal, active lives despite becoming obese -- the first time any compound has been shown to do that. Tests found that the agent activated a host of genes that protect against aging, essentially neutralizing the adverse effects of the bad diet on the animals' health and longevity.
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I leave it to Ferment Everything to figure out a way to add resveratrol to beer. There's an Order of Canada in it for you if you can make that happen!!

I could just drop a bunch of these in a batch of brewing beer, but I think I would let you taste the results before I dared.

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Maybe next they'll decide gin is good for you. That would be GREAT.
Et voila. Particularly efficacious for the ladies, it appears.
In modern times, Juniper Berries are used to treat infections, especially within the urinary tract, bladder, kidneys, and prostate. Their antiseptic properties help remove waste and acidic toxins from the body, stimulating a fighting action against bacterial and yeast infections. Juniper Berries also help increase the flow of digestive fluids, improving digestion and eliminating gas and stomach cramping. As a diuretic, Juniper Berries eliminate excess water retention contributing to weight loss. Juniper Berries' anti-inflammatory properties are ideal for relieving pain and inflammation related to rheumatism and arthritis. In addition, Juniper Berries are beneficial in reducing congestion, as well as treating asthma and colds. Juniper Berries make an excellent antiseptic in conditions such as cystitis.
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Yes, but does it work if they're infused?

Here's the bad news at the end of the article:

The researchers cautioned that the findings should not encourage people to eat badly, thinking resveratrol could make gluttony safe. They also noted that a person would have to drink hundreds of glasses of red wine a day or take megadoses of the commercially available supplements to get the levels given to the mice -- doses that may not be safe.
Hundreds of glasses?
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Yes, but does it work if they're infused?

Here's the bad news at the end of the article:Hundreds of glasses?

The NY Times said "The mice were fed a hefty dose of resveratrol, 24 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. Red wine has about 1.5 to 3 milligrams of resveratrol per liter, so a 150-lb person would need to drink 750 to 1,500 bottles of red wine a day to get such a dose."

At least now I have a goal.

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(Admins: I wasn't sure if this belonged here or under News and Media. Feel free to move it if you prefer)

I believe that this came from the Wine Spectator, but it was brought to my attention by a customer:

British Scientists Identify Potent Heart-Helping Compound in Red Wine

More tannic styles of wine contain a polyphenol--and no, it's not resveratrol--involved in maintaining healthy blood vessels

Jacob Gaffney

Posted: Friday, January 05, 2007

A team of researchers in London and Glasgow has determined which polyphenol in red wine may help keep the heart and blood vessels working well--but it's not the compound that's gotten all the press lately.

Procyanidin, a polyphenol also common in dark chocolate, keeps heart tissue healthy by regulating the production of a peptide known as endothelin-1, according to the new research. Endothelin-1 helps to prevent blood clots and maintain the overall health of veins and arteries but, in excessive amounts, can constrict vascular tissue, leading to diseases such as hypertension and even heart failure.

The research, reported in the Nov. 30, 2006, issue of Nature, was led by Roger Corder, a professor of experimental therapeutics at the Queen Mary University of London and author of The Wine Diet, being released next week by Little Brown. Back in 2001, Corder's team found that red wine helped to slow production of endothelin-1.

For the latest research, "We wanted to know what it is in red wine that helps prevent cardiovascular diseases since drinking it in moderation seems to be a sure way to a longer, healthier life," said Corder.

Many recent studies have focused on the benefits of the red-wine compound resveratrol, which has been found helpful in preventing a number of ailments. Research using mice found resveratrol limited damage caused by a stroke, boosted endurance and kept chubby mice alive longer. But in Corder's study, resveratrol was not found in sufficient quantities to be able to keep human heart tissue healthy.

Corder and his team designed their study so they wouldn't know which compound worked best until the end of the trial. The researchers cultured endothelial cells, then added small amounts of red wine to the petri dishes. The team used chromatography to isolate and measure the biological activity of each polyphenol in red wine.

In hundreds of experiments, using wines from all over the world, procyanidin proved to be the best at regulating production of endothelin-1 to achieve the most favorable levels. Procyanidins suppressed overproduction by 50 percent.

Other compounds, such as resveratrol and quercetin, were found to have an "irrelevant effect," Corder said. "In order to consume enough red wine to get a beneficial amount of resveratrol, you would need concentrations that were 100- to 1,000-fold greater than what is in red wine." That claim is echoed by scientists who have conducted resveratrol studies and found that the concentration of the polyphenol found in wine is insufficient to increase longevity and boost endurance. But the procyanidins were effective at levels found in wines.

Corder also found that procyanidin concentrations varied greatly according to winemaking style and vineyard location. Wines with high levels of tannins--due to prolonged exposure to grape skins and seeds during fermentation--had much higher concentrations of beneficial polyphenols.

More rustic styles of wine were richer in procyanidin than wines popular for international export. Tannat grown in southwestern France had the highest concentration of the wines tested, while several varietals from Sardinia's Nuoro province had the next-highest levels. Wines from the United States, Australia, South Africa and other parts of Europe generally had significantly lower levels of procyanidin.

"It's the style of wine that is important, not the country," Corder said. "There were some wines from Mount Veeder in Napa Valley, produced using old-fashioned methods, that are outstanding [in terms of heart health]," he added. "But these wines are an acquired taste."

Corder also noted that exposure to ultraviolet B rays increases the level of procyanidin in grapes, so the proximity of the vineyards to the sun is a factor as well. For example, according to the study, the average Sardinian wine had comparably low levels of procyanidins, but the wines from Nuoro came from vineyards on high slopes directly facing the sun, providing maximum exposure to UV-B rays.

Despite his findings, Corder cautioned against changing one's drinking habits or taking unregulated dietary supplements in the hope of mimicking the results of lab studies.

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ok I adore wine, and I drink too much of it probably, but I'd question the validity of this study if they only examined wine and didn't examine grapes in general or grape juice. Most of the wine health stories from the past seem to be debunked when people do the study using the same controls only using grape juice or raw grapes to get the same effects.

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Another interesting study, albeit a LOT more technical, courtesy of a customer of mine from the American Chemical Society:

Oenology: Red wine procyanidins and vascular health

R. Corder1, W. Mullen2, N. Q. Khan1, S. C. Marks2, E. G. Wood1, M. J. Carrier1 and A. Crozier1

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Regular, moderate consumption of red wine is linked to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease and to lower overall mortality1, but the relative contribution of wine's alcohol and polyphenol components to these effects is unclear2. Here we identify procyanidins as the principal vasoactive polyphenols in red wine and show that they are present at higher concentrations in wines from areas of southwestern France and Sardinia, where traditional production methods ensure that these compounds are efficiently extracted during vinification. These regions also happen to be associated with increased longevity in the population.

High consumption of polyphenols inhibits atherosclerosis in experimental models3, 4. Red-wine polyphenols induce endothelium-dependent dilatation of blood vessels and suppress the synthesis of endothelin-1 (ET-1), a peptide that has a vasoconstricting effect5, 6, 7, and this may account for their anti-atherosclerotic activity. However, there is a lack of consensus on the protective effects of red wine, which may be due to variability in vasoactive constituents in different wines.

Red-wine polyphenols are a complex mixture of flavonoids (mainly anthocyanins and flavan-3-ols) and non-flavonoids (such as resveratrol and gallic acid). Flavan-3-ols are the most abundant, with oligomeric and polymeric procyanidins (condensed tannins) often representing 25–50% of the total phenolic constituents8.

We used cultured endothelial cells to identify the most potent vasoactive polyphenols in red wine (for methods, see supplementary information). These were shown by high-performance liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry2 to be straight-chain B-type oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs) (tetra-epicatechin gallate, m/z = 1,305; procyanidin trimer-gallate, m/z = 1,017; procyanidin tetramer, m/z = 1,153; and pentamer-gallate, m/z = 1,593; see supplementary information).

Total polyphenols and OPC content of each wine correlated with the suppression of ET-1 synthesis (Fig. 1a, :o . However, the linear regression plot for total polyphenols intercepted the y-axis at about 5 mM, which is consistent with most polyphenols (anthocyanins, catechins and resveratrol) lacking vasoactivity at the concentrations found in wine5, 7.

Figure 1: Relationship between procyanidin content and vasoactive properties of red wine.

a, b, Total polyphenol (a) and oligomeric procyanidin (OPC) ( :lol: content correlate with the inhibition of synthesis of endothelin-1, expressed as ED50 (dilution inhibiting by 50%; see supplementary information); R = 0.84 for both, n = 165. c, d, Comparison of inhibition of endothelin-1 synthesis © with OPC concentration (d) of wines from different geographical regions. Au, Australia; EU, France, Greece, Italy or Spain; SA, South America; US, United States; Sd, Sardinia; Nu, Nuoro province, Sardinia; swF, southwest France. CE, catechin equivalents (see supplementary information). ***P < 0.001 compared with all the other wines; *P < 0.01 compared with the United States, and P < 0.001 compared with the other wines; **P < 0.02 compared with the United States and South America, and P < 0.001 compared with the other wines.

High resolution image and legend (39K)

To investigate how the OPC content of red wines from a particular region might relate to mortality in that region, we compared wines produced in areas of increased longevity (as an index of overall good health) with a broad selection of wines from different countries. People living in Nuoro province, Sardinia, have high longevity, particularly men9. In France, there are marked regional variations in mortality from coronary heart disease. We used the 1999 census data to identify unusual patterns of ageing in France (see supplementary information) and found that there are relatively more men aged 75 or over in the département of Gers in the Midi-Pyrenees in southwest France.

Wines from Nuoro and the Gers area have 2–4-fold more biological activity and OPC content than other wines (Fig. 1c, d). This difference remains (P < 0.001) when OPC measurements are extended to a wider selection of wines from the Gers area (2.9 0.1 mM, n = 58), from France (1.8 0.1 mM, n = 61) and from other parts of the world (1.5 0.04 mM, n = 227).

Grape seeds are the main source of OPCs but poor solubility, combined with oenological and viticultural factors, influence the amount of OPCs in wine8. The higher OPC concentration in wines from southwest France is due to traditional wine-making, which ensures that high amounts of OPCs are extracted, and to the flavonoid-rich grape Tannat, which makes up a large proportion of grapes used to produce local wines in the Gers area but is rarely grown elsewhere.

Absorption of OPCs and their identification in plasma has been demonstrated in vivo10, but little is known about their biological availability and metabolism. Further investigation of OPC-rich wines and foods should provide insight into how vascular function might be optimally maintained.

Competing interests statement:

The authors declare competing financial interests.

Supplementary information accompanies this paper.

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1. Renaud, S. C., Gueguen, R., Siest, G. & Salamon, R. Arch. Intern. Med. 159, 1865–1870 (1999). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |

2. Di Castelnuovo, A., Rotondo, S., Iacoviello, L., Donati, M. B. & De Gaetano, G. Circulation 105, 2836–2844 (2002). | Article | PubMed |

3. Kris-Etherton, P. M. & Keen, C. L. Curr. Opin. Lipidol. 13, 41–49 (2002). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |

4. Auger, C. et al. J. Agric. Food. Chem. 52, 5297–5302 (2004). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |

5. Fitzpatrick, D. F., Hirschfield, S. L. & Coffey, R. G. Am. J. Physiol. 265, H774–H778 (1993). | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |

6. Hashimoto, M. et al. Am. J. Cardiol. 88, 1457–1460 (2001). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |

7. Corder, R. et al. Nature 414, 863–864 (2001). | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |

8. Waterhouse, A. L. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 957, 21–36 (2002). | PubMed | ChemPort |

9. Poulain, M. et al. Exp. Gerontol. 39, 1423–1429 (2004). | Article | PubMed |

10. Shoji, T. et al. J. Agric. Food. Chem. 54, 884–892 (2006). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |

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The authors declare competing financial interests.
I know that quote looks like it comes from Joe, but it comes from the study. Listen, if you can prove to me that wine, and not just grapes or grape juice produces the same effect I'm going to go drink it even more (though I'm going to bet that wine drank in excess will destroy your liver, eventually possibly causing serosis, far more than it's going to help you live longer). Additionally that line about competing financial interests strikes me as though this is a winemakers funded study, but I could be misreading that line.
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From the always-informative David Raines at Gordon's in Waltham, Mass:

*Note: I removed the sales reference to a particular wine that he mentioned. To see what that is, please check out his original newsletter here

The Gordon’s Daily Flash: September 27th, 2007

About a year ago the Globe, The Times, and virtually every other newspaper in the Western World reported on a study of red wine’s capacity for enhancing cardio-vascular health. Conducted by the British scientist Dr. Roger Corder (professor of experimental therapeutics at the William Harvey Research Institute of the London School of Medicine), this study, or series of studies, really, proved conclusively that certain polyphenols found in red wine increase the elasticity of vascular tissue, reducing arterial hardening, blood pressure, and all the bad things that come with both.

And how do polyphenols do it?

They do it by counteracting an arterial assassin called endothelin-1.

Polyphenols (tannins, coloring agents, and flavoring agents) are more present in red wines than they are in whites because they’re mostly found in a grape’s skin and seeds. Red wines are produced by macerating the juice of red grapes with their skins and seeds, while whites are usually fermented from juice alone.

There are polyphenols and polyphenols, though, and only one of them does the heavy lifting and toting, and IT’S not equally present in all red wines.

It isn’t resveratrol, either. Resveratrol WOULD have enormous health benefits if there was very much of it in any type of food or drink. In fact it does NOT exist in significant quantities in any wine. According to Dr. Corder you would need to drink “hundreds” of bottles a day to get any benefit from it. (And who has time for that?)

Procyanidine, on the other hand, ALSO does the trick, and unlike resveratrol, procyanidine DOES exist in useful concentrations in CERTAIN types of red.

First off, the longer the maceration, the more of it there is. There’s unlikely to be much of it at all in light, low structure jug wines or in fruit bomb wines with cute animals on their labels. Wines made from old vines have more than wines made from young (though Dr. Corder isn’t sure why and thinks it might just be that wine producers macerate their old vines cuvees longer since they tend to be more valuable). Direct exposure of the grapes to sunlight during the growing season, and especially to ultraviolet part of the spectrum (which is more in play at higher altitudes) also increases procyanidine concentrations.

And finally every grape variety has its own level of the stuff.

The one with apparently BY FAR the most is Tannat.

A single glass a day of a well-macerated Madiran (a Tannat wine from the hills of southern France) is enough, according to Dr. Corder, to afford VERY SIGNIFICANT health benefits.

And here’s a piece of anecdotal confirmation: in the region of Gers, where Madiran and other Tannat based reds are grown, male survival rate beyond the age of 90 is more than DOUBLE the French national average, and that in spite of a regional cuisine known for its heavy use of dairy products, red meat, and foie gras

Dr. Corder’s book, the Wine Diet, has just been released in Britain and will doubtless be out here soon as well.

But inspired by early reports of his research, I’ve made two trips to the region over the last year, tasted with a half dozen of the most respected growers, and placed orders with two.

-David Raines

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Here's a sobering bit of trivia from NIH's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). For the most recent year on record (2005), DC ranked #2 in the nation in per-capita alcohol consumption at 3.84 gallons of ethanol (based on abv), surpassed only by New Hampshire (4.11).

This is based on sales data, not residency, so if you exclude Don Rockwell's legendary status as the "vortex of Donnhoff" and the shopping efforts of a handful of unnamed whiskey collectors, I imagine the District's numbers would probably fall in line with Maryland (2.11) and Virginia (2.06).

Or maybe not. Government gives plenty of people reason enough to drink. As for New Hampshire, it's anybody's guess.

(Okay, my *real* guess is that the NH stats are skewed by all the shoppers coming up from Massachusetts to take advantage of low prices. That's what my friends used to do when I lived up there. Likewise, one can only wonder what effect Schneider's, Calvert-Woodley, and our own Joe Riley have on DC's numbers.)

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Here's a sobering bit of trivia from NIH's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). For the most recent year on record (2005), DC ranked #2 in the nation in per-capita alcohol consumption at 3.84 gallons of ethanol (based on abv), surpassed only by New Hampshire (4.11).

This is based on sales data, not residency, so if you exclude Don Rockwell's legendary status as the "vortex of Donnhoff" and the shopping efforts of a handful of unnamed whiskey collectors, I imagine the District's numbers would probably fall in line with Maryland (2.11) and Virginia (2.06).

Or maybe not. Government gives plenty of people reason enough to drink. As for New Hampshire, it's anybody's guess.

(Okay, my *real* guess is that the NH stats are skewed by all the shoppers coming up from Massachusetts to take advantage of low prices. That's what my friends used to do when I lived up there. Likewise, one can only wonder what effect Schneider's, Calvert-Woodley, and our own Joe Riley have on DC's numbers.)

The usage by the embassies in DC skew the numbers.

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The usage by the embassies in DC skew the numbers.
As does the fact that half of Montgomery County buys its beer, wine, and liquor in DC.

As does the fact that anyone in VA who is sick of getting ripped off by the ABC stores buys their liquor in DC.

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