Wine Health Benefits

Wine is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages on the planet. Its history spans thousands of years and while heavy drinking of any alcoholic beverage rather brings lots of health-related troubles instead of benefits, current research suggests that a glass of red wine each day may be providing you with more than just a little relaxation.1

Kidney stones

Red wine intake reduces the risk of kidney stone formation


Excessive alcohol consumption is generally considered a risk factor for hypertension. However, there is some evidence of favorable effects of red wine on blood pressure. Two glasses of red wine (250 ml), taken together with the meal, lower post-meal blood pressure in hypertensive persons.

Heart disease

One of the well-known and most studied benefits of red wine is its heart protective effect. Moderate consumption of red wine on a regular basis may be a preventative against coronary heart disease. Scientists believe the red wine reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by reducing production of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and boosting high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Drink in the Flavonoids

Belief in the medicinal value of wine is as old as wine itself. The Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America, sixth decennial revision, published in 1882, has listings for 14 different preparations of wine, from vinum album, or white wine, made “from the unmodified juice of the grape, freed from seeds, stems, and skins,” to vinum rubrum, or red wine, made “by fermenting the juice of colored grapes in presence of their skins.”

The deep, beautiful purple-red color of red wine is produced by a substance called anthocyanin, which is found in the skin of the grape. In addition to the color of red wine, we can thank anthocyanins for the deep red-purple-black color of black olives; and the berry-red color of strawberries, cherries, and raspberries.

Anthocyanin is one of the four main groups of chemicals that together are called flavonoids. Found in many plants and especially in deeply colored fruits and vegetables, flavonoids are important chemicals in plants.

Drink in the Flavonoids

Research has shown many potential medical uses for flavonoids. For example, they regulate cell growth, function as antioxidants, reduce inflammation, and prevent blood clots.

Red wine may also reduce oxidative stress caused by increased blood glucose levels after meals, according to Antonio Ceriello, MD, and associates. In a research letter published in the December 1999 issue of Diabetes Care, Dr. Ceriello and associates presented data showing that consumption of two 5-ounce glasses of red wine with a meal by subjects with type 2 diabetes significantly reduced the compounds produced by the test meal that could cause vascular damage by the mechanism of “oxidative stress.” (Oxidation of LDL “bad” cholesterol causes fatty buildup in the arteries.)

Blood clots

Red wine produces anticlotting, or antithrombotic, action. Light to moderate consumers of wine have lower levels of protein fibrinogen which promotes blood clot formation.


Red wine may prevent the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis (hardening or “furring” of the arteries). Atherosclerosis starts when blood vessels begin to lose their ability to relax. Both the alcohol and polyphenols in the red wine appear to favorably maintain healthy blood vessels by promoting the formation of nitric oxide (NO), the key chemical relaxing factor that plays an important role in the regulation of vascular tone.

1Written by C. Simmons of