Is drinking wine good for your health?

Is drinking wine good for your health? NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Moderate – note MODERATE! – wine consumption does appear to have health benefits – especially red wine.

Red, white or pink?

That’s because red wine is fermented together with the skin of the grapes, and grape skin contains beneficial compounds called flavonoids.

Because its fermentation process includes these grape skins, red wine contains 10 times as many flavonoids as white wine.

As an interesting aside, a white wine such as champagne can be made with red grapes, but in this case the skins are removed before fermentation. The champagne grape is the red grape Pinot Noir.

This article was written by Colin Rose, a Senior Associate Member of the Royal Society of Medicine, who has been writing on science for 40 years.

Is red wine heart-healthy?

Wine flavonoids, especially resveratrol and quercetin, do have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. Studies show that flavonoids in general help protect the cardio-vascular system by reducing excess free radical damage to blood vessels.

Is drinking wine good for your health? NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Red wine has also been found to increase the level of HDL cholesterol – the ‘good’ kind, which helps prevent artery damage.

A 2015 study in the American Society for Microbiology Journal showed that resveratrol alters gut probiotic flora in a way that reduces atherosclerosis and therefore heart attack risk.

In addition, both wine and alcohol in general, have been found to help keep the cells lining blood vessels (called the endothelium) dilated, leading to improved blood flow, which is heart-beneficial.

A 2008 European study found wine also helps raise the level of Omega 3 in the blood – yet another potential heart health benefit.

Is red wine brain-healthy?

Red wine may possibly even help slow down age-related mental decline. A team from Loyola University Medical Center, using long-term data from 19 nations, found a statistically significant lower risk of dementia among regular, moderate red wine drinkers.

Resveratrol, the investigators hypothesised, is key to this benefit. By helping reduce the stickiness of blood platelets, it helps keep the blood vessels open and flexible, and this promotes a good supply of blood to the brain.

While there are, therefore, quite a few studies that support the drinking of moderate amounts of wine, they are almost all observational studies from population groups and food diaries. This means they show a link or association, but not necessarily cause and effect.

For example, it could be that people who drink wine are generally better off and are more health conscious than average and it is the totality of their life-style that is producing the results.

The most comprehensive study on the benefits and negatives of wine was published in Circulation in 2017 – from which many of these conclusions are taken.

Alcohol calories are processed differently from other food calories

You often hear that “a calorie is a calorie” But recent research shows that is not true of alcohol.

A typical 175 ml (6 fluid ounce) of serving of wine contains 2 units of alcohol and is not, on its own, hugely calorific – about 144 calories. That’s about the same as a handful (28g/1oz) of nuts.

However, they are metabolised very differently. Alcohol is 90% metabolised in the liver because it contains no protein, fat or fibre and negligible vitamins and minerals. That’s why excess alcohol can lead to fatty liver – a build-up of fat and scarring in the liver called cirrhosis.

Effect of excess alcohol quickly overcomes health benefits

The health benefits of wine can easily be cancelled out by drinking too much.

In excess amounts – defined as over 2 units a day for men and 1 for women – it can increase blood pressure and cause organ damage, dependency, and brain damage. It also increases your risk of developing several types of cancers – including mouth and colon cancer and breast cancer in women.

How alcohol can lead to cancer has only recently been discovered – at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge.

When the body processes alcohol it creates a harmful chemical called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde can break and damage DNA sequences within blood stem cells. It is this damage that can trigger problems including cancer.

Is drinking wine good for your health? NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals
Damaged DNA strands

Excess alcohol can increase your risk of contracting infectious diseases, by weakening your immune system. It can also cause abnormal activation of digestive enzymes leading to pancreatitis.

Drinking also increases your heart rate and, as we have seen, widens blood vessels in your skin. This can trigger perspiration and night sweats, which are a sign you are drinking too much.

Keep to 14 units a week guideline and don’t binge-drink

In 2016 the UK Government issued new guidelines on alcohol consumption. It said:

“Drinking any level of alcohol regularly carries a health risk for anyone, but if men and women limit their intake to no more than 14 units a week it keeps the risk of illness like cancer and liver disease low.”

They also recommended at least 2-3 alcohol-free days a week and no days when you exceed 4 units – defined as binge drinking.

Or get flavonoids from grapes and berries

Finally, you don’t have to get your flavonoids from wine.

Resveratrol, which is a compound produced by some plants to fight off bacteria and fungi, is found in greater amounts in grapes, peanuts and berries than in wine.

Is drinking wine good for your health? NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals
Grapes contain resveratrol – eat skins and seeds, too

Summary – Red wine is healthy in moderation

There are many other things you can do for your health, rather than drink alcohol! But if you are going to drink, the research indicates that wine, and red wine in particular, is the best. But staying within that 14 unit a week limit is important.

Important, too, is the fact that you can get the flavonoids that make red wine, on balance, positive for health, from many other sources.  Numerous vegetables and berry fruits contain a variety of flavonoids – as do spices like curcumin and green tea.

There are also supplements that feature high levels of flavonoids including NutriShield.


Is drinking wine good for your health? NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

This article was written by Colin Rose, a Senior Associate Member of the Royal Society of Medicine, who has been writing on science for 40 years.


It is one of a series on the top 20 questions people ask about health. They include the following, some of which are available NOW (check the link).

Is drinking wine good for your health? NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals
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Is drinking wine good for your health? NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsIs drinking wine good for your health? NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsIs drinking wine good for your health? NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Is drinking wine good for your health? NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive health supplement with OPTIMUM levels of essential nutrients. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.


Is drinking wine good for your health? NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Dr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from booksellers.

Read it here online or see the website www.healthdefence.com for excerpts and links to buy direct from the publisher.


Is drinking wine good for your health? NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet.


References:

Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with better endothelial function: a cross sectional study: Keiko Suzuki, et al, BMC Cardiovascular Disorders volume 9, Article number: 8 (2009)

Wine and Cardiovascular Health; A Comprehensive Review; Sohaib Haseeb et al; Circulation Oct 2017

Resveratrol Attenuates Trimethylamine-N-Oxide (TMAO)-Induced Atherosclerosis by Regulating TMAO Synthesis and Bile Acid Metabolism via Remodeling of the Gut Microbiota; Ming-liang Chen, American Society of Microbiology; eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-12/cu-alw120408.php


10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines

What to do when your blood pressure simply won’t go down

Researchers have identified a condition called Resistant Hypertension – high blood pressure that simply doesn’t respond to medical treatment – even when a combination of drugs is used.

But a recent study from Johns Hopkins University in America shows that Resistant Hypertension can be lowered.

That’s good news when more than half the people over the age of 50 have elevated blood pressure (BP).  Unfortunately most don’t realise they have the condition, which is why it’s called

‘The silent killer’  

The health threat is obvious when a recent editorial in the Lancet calculated the risk of becoming hypertensive is greater than 90 percent for indi­viduals in developed countries!

So, if you have struggled for years to get your blood pressure under control – or are over 50 – you are wise to follow this proven way to lower BP.

Especially when a 2018 report from the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris, shows that high blood pressure at 50 raises the risk of dementia in later life. ‘High’ being defined as a systolic blood pressure of 140. 

The report in the European Heart Journal explained that high blood pressure has been linked to silent mini-strokes in the brain, damage to the brain’s white matter, and restricted blood supply to the brain.

10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

A 10-point plan to reduce BP naturally

Following this 10 point plan will improve your health and normalise your blood pressure, without potentially dangerous drugs – whether you are aiming to reduce your Systolic Blood Pressure to below 140 or 120.

1. Eat a DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)

10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

The eating plan known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Research shows it can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg.

The DASH diet is also an anti-inflammatory diet which will not only lower blood pressure but defend you against a range of illnesses. See this link: https://nutrishield.com/the-science/anti-inflammatory/.

Reducing inflammation reduces hypertension. Inflammation is linked to the build-up of cholesterol on arterial walls, which narrows and restricts the blood vessels, which means that the heart has to pump harder, which increases blood pressure.

2. Reduce sugar and other carbohydrates

Insulin plays an important role in high blood pressure, as many people with hypertension have insulin resistance.

Eating sug­ars and excess carbohydrates – including bread, pasta, potatoes, or rice which are metabolised as sugars – will cause your insulin levels to remain elevated, leading to increased insulin resistance. To compensate, your body generates yet more insulin. It’s a vicious circle.

Insulin encourages the uptake of magnesium, but if your body’s insulin receptors are compromised and your cells grow resistant to insulin, you will not store magnesium effectively. That’s a problem because magnesium relaxes muscles, especially those in your arterial network. If your magnesium level is too low, your blood vessels will tend to constrict rather than relax, which will raise your blood pressure.

Insulin further affects your blood pressure by encouraging your body to retain sodium. Sodium retention causes fluid retention – which in turn causes high blood pressure.

3. Increase your Omega 3 intake

10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals
Rollmop and caper bruschetta from the Health Defence Cookbook

We in the West are getting too much omega-6 in our diets and far too little omega-3. Omega 6 fatty acids – found in polyunsaturated plant oils like safflower, sunflower and corn oil – are used by the body to produce hormones that promote inflammation.

Omega 3 fatty acids (from oily fish) have the opposite effect – they are used to produce hormones that reduce inflammation – which as we’ve seen helps reduce blood pressure. Omega-3 fats have another benefit – they help to re-sensitize your insulin receptors if you suffer from insulin resistance.

Omega-3 fats are typically found in flaxseed oil, walnut oil and fish, with fish being easily the best source.

4. Lose excess pounds and watch waistline measurements

10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure, because blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help reduce your blood pressure by up to 5 points.

Belly fat is especially dangerous and in general:

  • Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 cm).
  • Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (89 cm)

5. Less sodium and more potassium

Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by between 2 to 8 mm Hg. In fact only small amounts of sodium occur naturally in foods – most sodium is added during processing. So eat fewer processed foods.

10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals
Sweet potatoes are high in potassium

In cooking, add less standard table salt; replace with low-sodium, high-potassium salts or other herbs and spices.

Add extra potassium to your diet which can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. Good sources of potassium are bananas, avocadoes, spinach and sweet potatoes.

6. Reduce your stress

Chronic stress is an important contributor to high blood pressure. It’s not stressful events themselves that are harmful, but your feelings of inability to cope. Studies show that people with heart disease can lower their risk of subsequent cardiac problems by over 70 percent simply by learning to manage their stress.

10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

So make time for this simple but effective de-stressing deep breathing exercise which can be done anywhere, and takes a short time but brings immediate results. Click to go to Instant Relaxation exercise.

You might also want to listen to some classical music. A study at the University of Florence showed that listening for 30 minutes a day for 30 days while breathing calmly, could ‘significantly’ reduce blood pressure.

7. Be physically active regularly

Regular physical activity — at least 30 minutes on most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by an average of  7 mm Hg.

10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

The best types of exercise for lowering blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. Strength training also can help reduce blood pressure as it helps to reduce insulin sensitivity.

You should try to exercise to an intense level. ‘Intense’ means exerting yourself sufficiently that you are out of breath and can’t com­fortably talk to someone during your workout. Fast walking while swinging your arms is a simple way to ‘intensify’ your exercise.

8. Moderate alcohol

In small amounts, a drink can potentially lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg.

10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

But that protective effect vanishes if you drink too much alcohol. The limit is generally one drink a day for women (and men over age 65), or two a day for men under 65. One drink equals 150ml (5 fl oz) of wine.

Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can actually raise blood pressure by several points. It can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.

Does coffee increase blood pressure? The evidence is that it may increase your BP levels short term, possibly by blocking a hormone that dilates your arteries. Drink more decaf and try hibiscus tea which has been shown to help lower BP.

9. Ensure an optimum level of vitamin D

Research shows that blood pressure is typi­cally higher in winter months than during the summer!

10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

That’s because sun exposure enable your body to produce vitamin D. Lack of sunlight re­duces your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to insulin resistance and Metabolic Syndrome, a constellation of health problems that include elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, obesity, and high blood pressure.

Unfortunately there is abundant evidence that almost all of us in the West are well below optimum vitamin D levels – and would benefit from a vitamin D supplement in the winter. See https://nutrishield.com/category/vitamins/vitamin-d/

10. Take a well-designed daily health supplement

No one vitamin or nutrient will make a lot of difference on its own. It is a combination that can make a real difference to blood pressure levels – and health generally.

Studies indicate that vitamins C and E can be helpful in lowering blood pressure, as can calcium and magnesium.

The optimum level of vitamin C is 500mg a day – at which level there are other benefits too – including a reduction in cataract risk. Vitamin C has been shown to increase the body’s production of nitric oxide which helps keep blood vessels dilated.

The optimum level for vitamin E is 70mg a day, ideally including all the tocopherols (d-alpha, d-beta, d-gamma and d-delta) – the “family” of vitamin E compounds that are more effective than simple d-alpha vitamin E.

Omega 3 fish oil should be included at a level of 1,000mg a day. To get that level you would need to eat oily fish 3 times a week, so a supplement is wise for most people.

To which nutrients add the powerful anti-oxidant CoQ10 which, along with vitamin B6, helps dilate blood vessels. The University of Maryland examined several studies and found that supplementing with CoQ10 over 4-12 weeks could deliver a remarkable 17 point drop in systolic levels and 10 points in diastolic.

Folic acid and the lesser known nutrient betaine are also important. They reduce the level of a blood protein called homocysteine. Homocysteine makes arteries less flexible and stiff – restricting blood flow and increasing blood pressure.

Finally polyphenols – the protective compounds in fruits and vegetables and in green tea – have a role to play in reducing inflammation and hence indirectly, blood pressure.

There is a supplement that includes all these nutrients and more. It was formulated by the former Chair of the Forum on Food and Health at the Royal Society of Medicine. It’s called NutriShield Premiumwww.nutrishield.com.


When a natural approach to preventing disease is available, it is a better choice than drugs. In the case of high blood pressure, the above 10 point plan is such a choice.


10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

This article was written by Colin Rose, a Senior Associate Member of the Royal Society of Medicine, who has been writing on science for 40 years.


If you enjoyed this article, please share it with family and friends. You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily headline health tweets.

10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals
Register now for a free monthly e-newsletter on the latest in nutrition and health research.


10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive health supplement with OPTIMUM levels of essential nutrients. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.


10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Dr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from booksellers.

Read it here online or see the website www.healthdefence.com for excerpts and links to buy direct from the publisher.


10 ways to lower blood pressure naturally to meet new guidelines NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet.


References:

Ann Intern Med, Published online January 17, 2017. Guidelines.

A Randomized Trial of Intensive versus Standard Blood-Pressure Control N Engl J Med 2015; 373:2103-2116 November 26, 2015 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1511939

Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) Trial: Design and Methods John B. Buse, MD, PhD The American Journal of Cardiology Volume 99, Issue 12, Supplement, 18 June 2007, Pages S21–S3

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/dash
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/coenzyme-q10
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-listening-music-idUSCOL65690420080516

Intracellular magnesium and insulin resistance. Takaya J1, Higashino H, Kobayashi Y. Magnes Res. 2004 Jun;17(2):126-36.