Drink wine to live longer!

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I'm in the mood for a "feel good" story with the past week's fixation in swine flu. Half A Glass Of Wine A Day May Boost Life Expectancy By Five Years:

The Dutch authors base their findings on a total of 1,373 randomly selected men whose cardiovascular health and life expectancy at age 50 were repeatedly monitored between 1960 and 2000.

Here are the findings:

And men who drank only wine, and less than half a glass of it a day, lived around 2.5 years longer than those who drank beer and spirits, and almost five years longer than those who drank no alcohol at all.

Drinking wine was strongly associated with a lower risk of dying from coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and death from all causes.

These results held true, irrespective of socioeconomic status, dietary and other lifestyle habits, factors long thought to influence the association between wine drinking and better health.

Does this mean you should start drinking if you don't? I wouldn't. It seems that the biggest returns for good health you can control are relatively common sense; eat lots of vegetables, keep your weight in check, exercise, etc. But the balance of the data seem to suggest that if there is any effect of moderate drinking, it is positive.

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Does this mean if I have a full glass a day, I'll add 10 years to my life expectancy?

I think I'll celebrate this good news and pick up a bottle of Argentine malbec, a bottle of Spanish garnacha........

By Wade Nichols (not verified) on 30 Apr 2009 #permalink

"Les bienfaits du vin" (dose journalière)

Allergie - Medoc - 1 verre
Anemie - Graves - 4 verres
Bronchite - Bourgogne ou Bordeaux (+ sucre, cannelle) - 3 tasses
Constipation - Anjou blanc ou Vouvray - 4 verres
Affections des coronaires, Tuberculose - Champagne sec - 4 flûtes
Diarrhée - Beaujolais nouveau - 4 verres
Fièvre - Champagne sec - 1 bouteille
Coeur - Bourgogne, Santenay rouge - 2 verres
Goutte - Sancerre, Pouilly fumé - 4 verres
Hypertension - Alsace, Sancerre - 4 verres
Trouble de la ménopause - St Emillion - 4 verres
Dépression nerveuse - Médoc - 4 verres
Obésité - Bourgogne - 4 verres
Obésité importante - Rosé de Provence - 1 bouteille
Rhumatisme - Champagne - 4 flûtes
Amaigrissement anormal - Côte-de-Beaune - 4 verres
Paresse du foie - Champagne sec - 4 flûtes
Troubles rénaux - Gros Plants - 4 verres

Domaine Jessiaume Père & fils. Santenay (France)
Télécopie: 03 80 20 62 87

Most of the antioxidants and flavanoids in wine are probably fat-soluble, so make sure to have a juicy steak or something with a lot of cheese or butter before having that glass of wine. It'll make you feel more French, Spanish, Italian, or Swiss.

Same for eating vegetables -- when researchers look at how well the fat-soluble vitamins and antioxidants are absorbed from a leafy green salad, little is absorbed when it's (salad + nonfat dressing), but about 7 or 8 times as great when it's (salad + full-fat dressing) or (salad + avocado), avocado being full of fat.

Good for you in small amounts suggests
Hormesis

Dumping the fruit and veg.
"there is something nasty in fruit and vegetables, something pro-oxidant. You just have to ask yourself why a plant should manufacture an antioxidant in the first place. You can bet your bottom dollar that it was not for the benefit of herbivores! No, plants hate herbivores and negotiate with substances like strychnine rather than antioxidant"

"Phytoestrogens mainly belong to a large group of substituted phenolic compounds known as flavonoids"
It has been suggested that phyto-estrogens are produced by the plant kingdom as a population control device and that the plants are attempting to ensure their own survival by controlling the fertility of their predators through estrogenic compounds, with questionable success.

If flavonoids are good for you it can only be in small doses as with other poisons, like alcohol

Moderate consumption of alcohol is also correlated with higher income (than non-drinkers and heavy drinkers). It's a robust finding in labour economics -- different data sets, different specfications.

Need to set up a proper controlled experiment to figure out causation...