Is Red Wine Good for You? | Earth Lab

many of us have the evidence of lived

experience that alcohol makes you clever

charming and more attractive to the

opposite sex unfortunately there is the

more powerful evidence of robust science

which says that even small amounts of

alcohol are pretty bad for you there is

one drink which claims to be an

exception red wine

we're endlessly bombarded with news

reports telling us it might be just a

little virtuous

it's a part of the Mediterranean diet

which is meant to make you live longer

we know that it's not the alcohol that's

responsible for the supposed health

benefits of red wine but could there be

something else in here that offsets the

harm caused by the alcohol red wine is

thought to be good for you

because it's made using the grape skin

which contains a family of chemicals

called polyphenols these have been the

source of intense study for decades and

one has been probed more than most

resveratrol now we've known about this

chemical for a long time but it wasn't

until the 1990s that it was discovered

in red wine so why has it got scientists

so excited this is an East African


let's call him Arthur Arthur is a

handsome beast but sadly his time on

this earth is short just a few months

but that's useful for scientists who

study longevity so the scientists ran an

experiment to see if giving resveratrol

to fish like Arthur made them live

longer what they found was that the fish

in the experiment given the row spritual

lived up to 40% longer now that's pretty

astonishing if you're an African

killifish what you'll find if you read

beyond those headlines that say

something like a glass of red wine a day

keeps the doctor away is that at the

bottom of the article it will say that

the experiments were actually done on a

fish like Arthur a worm a fruit fly or

sometimes just cells in a dish


so although the research may be

promising it doesn't amount to evidence

that red wine has health benefits that

mean you or I will live any longer and

even if we do one day discover that

resveratrol has significant beneficial

effects on people this still a catch

when it comes to getting it from wine

this is a glass of Pinot Noir

happens to be from the Yarra Valley in

Australia now Pinot Noir is a light red

with low acidity medium tannins and some

of the highest levels of resveratrol of

any wine in the world at around 10

milligrams per litre unfortunately

though most of the studies on

resveratrol have been done using

capsules like this and in order to get

as much or as Verrill out of my wine as

there is in this capsule I would need to

drink all of these bottles here so I'd

better get coming so despite many years

of research we're still not entirely

sure what lies behind red wines healthy

reputation and it may well be that we've

been looking at it the wrong way

when drunk in moderation as part of the

Mediterranean diet red wine accompanies

nutrient-rich foods like fruits

vegetables fish and nuts and the

evidence suggests that it's the diet

taken as a whole that leads to a longer

healthier life

now having one small glass of red wine

with food is not going to do you any

harm but you have to ask yourself

honestly when was the last time you did

that you're anything like me you have

one glass over dinner and then probably

another glass over dinner and then you

finish off the bottle in front of the

television with dessert so sadly red

wine is not some kind of delicious

medicine where the more you drink the

better it is for you I will just have

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