Alcohol Related Deaths

.. ” which includes: ? Low red meat ? Low lard or butter, higher olive oil ? High in fish ? High in cheese, low in whole milk ? High in breads, fruits, and vegetables ? Light to moderate wine drinking Horvath says other studies have shown that wine drinkers may simply be more concerned about their health, as compared to non-drinkers, beer drinkers, or hard liquor drinkers. Some studies have shown wine drinkers tend to eat less fat, and more fruits, vegetables, and fish. This would coincide with the Mediterranean Diet. So why not simply drink more grape, or other dark fruit juices? Horvaths report said this would be beneficial, however other reports have suggested the concentration of phenolic compounds was greater in red wines because the juice is actually fermented with the grape skins, pulp, and stems. In addition, during the processing of ordinary juices the juice is exposed to much oxygen, greatly reducing the healthful benefits. Winemaking on the other hand is an anaerobic process; the healthful properties of the compounds are maintained.

So, juice is good but wine is better. Dr. Jean-Paul Broustet of Haut Leveque Hospital in Pessac, southern France, writing an editorial for the British medical journal Heart noted red wine as one of the best components contributing to a healthy heart. He states its beneficial traits of lowering LDL cholesterol, but also notes the presence of resveratrol a compound that heightens the production of HDL cholesterol. Red grapes produce resveratrol to protect themselves from fungus. “The highest concentrations of resveratrol..

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are found in the red wines, particularly in Cabernet Sauvignon grapes of Bordeaux.” Because red wines ferment with grape skins and stem parts, the red wines have higher concentrations of resveratrol than do white wines. It is believed that some phenolic compounds including resveratrol act as antioxidants to prevent cell damage from oxygen-containing chemicals known as free radicals. The CNN report concluded that there was still much evidence however that it is primarily the alcohol, which acts to lower LDL protein by thinning the blood. Yet, wine with a balanced low fat diet, maintained lower levels of LDL cholesterol which contributes to a lower frequency of heart disease and lower mortality rates. Lastly, mounting evidence continues to suggest that when taken with a balanced diet, moderate amounts of wine reduce the risk of stroke, and thus lower mortality rates. A CNN review of a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association it says, “alcohol consumption appears to protect against ischemic strokes, which occur when the blood supply to the brain is blocked by a blood clot.” Dr.

Salvatore says that 80% of all strokes are ischemic strokes. The study group included 677 people forty years of age and older, from Manhattan, who had suffered an ischemic stroke. Test results were compared to 1,139 subjects from the same community; those who drank up to two drinks per day had a 45% lower risk for suffering a stroke. Another study found similar results. Dr. Michael Elkind of Columbia University said, “Our study showed that having a drink a day or perhaps two drinks per day can reduce the risk of stroke perhaps as much as 50%.” Yet another, and much larger 16-year study of 13,000 test subjects in Denmark just one year earlier found similar results (32% less chance of stroke) from drinking one glass of wine per day. The study had not gained much attention in the United States because the sample included only one ethnic race.

Dr. Stuart Seides, a cardiologist with the American Heart Association noted “that the study is based on one ethnic population, while Americans are a diverse lot with many dietary habits.” In Dr. Salvatores more recent study however, test results were consistent across white, African American, and Hispanic groups. The Danish test contrasted the variables of wine, beer, and hard liquor. The same positive results were not achieved for the beer or hard liquor drinkers.

Another researcher, Jane Freedman conducting a study at Georgetown University Medical Center introduced grape juice to cells that cause clotting, and said, “they have a much less tendency to form clots.” Two other studies supporting the benefits of moderate consumption of wine include the Harvard-based Nurses Health Study and the Physicians Health Study. These studies found moderate drinking lowers womens risk of death by 17% and mens risk by 22%. Possibly because of its antioxidant value, and/or its blood thinning effects, but evidence from studies continues to grow showing the moderate use of wine has a positive influence on decreasing the risk of stroke. CONCLUSION A drink is commonly defined as 12 ounces of beer or wine cooler, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. Researchers all agree moderation is an important control. Evidence exists that wine in moderation (1 2 drinks per day) as part of a healthy diet does provide health benefits.

However like other drugs, abuse of wine can prove destructive. If a greater number of persons with heart disease may benefit from moderate consumption of wine, should we limit further research because of those who may abuse the drug? If we apply this logic to all controlled substances, we would not have access to many of the life-saving (or pain-killing) drugs available today. Existing research seems to indicate that further studies are required to determine the comparative levels of effectiveness between overall diet, the moderate consumption of wine with meals, and though not addressed in this report: exercise. Lower LDL cholesterol levels seem to be an important factor to reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack. The studies I reviewed indicate each of these factors contribute to a healthier life.

Bibliography Rodger Doyle, Deaths Due to Alcohol, (Scientific America, 1996) www.health.org American Heart Association, Cardiovascular Diseases Biostatistical Fact Sheets, (American Heart Association, 1996) www.americanheart.org Mayo Clinic, Mayo Health Oasis, (Mayo Clinic, 1997) www.mayohealth.org Jack Challem, The Color of Health: Why Nutrients Called Flavonoids Are Good For You, (The Nutrition Reporter, 1994) Dr. Andrew Waterhouse, Wine Antioxidants May Reduce Heart Disease and Cancer, (Washington, DC: American Chemical Society, 1994) www.wineinstitute.org Hacsi Horvath, Will Wine Help Your Heart?, (Web MD, Inc, 1999) www.cnn.com CNN interactive, Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Called Good for Arteries, (Atlanta: CNN, 1999) www.cnn.com CNN interactive, Cabernet Sauvignon Wine called Good for Arteries, (London: CNN, 1999) www.cnn.com Dr. Steve Salvatore, Study: Moderate Alcohol Consumption May Protect Against Stroke, (New York: CNN, 1999) www.cnn.com Dr. Steve Salvatore, Study: Moderate Alcohol Consumption May Protect Against Stroke, (New York: CNN, 1999) www.cnn.com Louise Schiavone, Study Links Moderate Wine Drinking, Lower Stroke Risk, (Washington: CNN, 1998) www.cnn.com Louise Schiavone, Study Links Moderate Wine Drinking, Lower Stroke Risk, (Washington: CNN, 1998) www.cnn.com CNN interactive, A Drink A Day Keeps the Grime Reaper Away, (Boston: CNN, 1997) www.cnn.com.

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