Weight Loss Isn't The Only Concern For Health Conscious Wine Drinkers

Posted: Jan 13, 2017

If you're still in want of a viable New Year's resolution, why not tackle the age-old goal of improving your health? While the mere thought of this may conjure images of ridiculous fad diets or loathsome sweat sessions in an overcrowded gym, there's more to being healthy than shedding pounds. In 2015, wine lovers' interest was piqued by counting calories and exercise; in 2016, Wine Spectator has reported on various health benefits, possible risks and groundbreaking studies associated with wine, and answered all sorts of reader-submitted questions on the topic. It's a good place to start if you're looking for some resolution inspiration.

But sifting through all that content would be time-consuming, and you're ready to hop on the health wagon now! To ease your search, we've put together a roundup of the hottest health topics from the past year (none of which, by the way, have to do with attaining your best "beach body"). Check out the most-read news stories and top Q&As and get started on your journey to become a healthier you.

The Provocative Power of Resveratrol

Every year, it seems like scientists are boasting about a new potential health benefit for resveratrol, and 2016 was no different. The red-wine compound has been lauded for its potential to help treat everything from depression to polycystic ovary syndrome, so it's no surprise that some of the top health news stories of 2016 revolved around this polyphenol-of-all-trades. One of the key properties of resveratrol is its ability to relieve inflammation, which proves useful in allaying a variety of ailments in the body. In October, we reported on one of the newly discovered benefits of this property: treating upper respiratory infections. Another fascinating function of resveratrol is a process called apoptosis, or controlled cell death, which has shown the potential to kill leukemia cells in tests. And though these studies involve amounts of resveratrol that far surpass the amount of your daily glass (or even bottle) of vino, studies show that responsible consumption of wine certainly has potential health benefits.

More Health Benefits: The Brain and Beyond

For those gearing up for the next phase of their lives, many take this time of the year to resolve to keep their minds sharp. And while indulging in alcoholic beverages to reach this goal may seem counterintuitive, recent research has shown how moderate wine consumption benefits the brain, while resveratrol could be combined with other polyphenols to develop a pill for Alzheimer's treatment.

If you're less worried about the mind and more focused on the body, read up on recent stories about wine's positive impacts on diabetes, erectile dysfunction or gut health. You're bound to find some inspiration to improve on one of these aspects of your health. Just make sure you're practicing healthy drinking habits, of course.

Staying Alert: Potential Risks

If you already have a good understanding of how wine positively impacts your life, you may want to challenge yourself to explore other ways that wine could affect your health. Back in 2015, a lawsuit raised the question of whether California wines were secretly poisoning consumers with arsenic. In early 2016, we reported on an independent study showing that the small arsenic concentrations that were present in tested wines—those named in the suit and others—were safe for consumption and that wine drinking did not represent a significant portion of people's total dietary consumption of arsenic. All's well that ends well, but it's important to stay informed!

The same goes for the study that found a possible link between white wine and melanoma. Although the study took many lifestyle and risk factors into consideration, it did not account for sun exposure; study author Eunyong Cho cautioned that there is more research to be done in order to understand the possible link between this skin cancer and alcohol intake, and that wine drinkers should consider both the negative factors and positive health benefits of wine consumption.

By: Lexi Williams
Source: https://www.winespectator.com
Posted: January 10, 2017

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