Volume 92, Issue 88
Tuesday, March 16, 1999
Wine brings cheap health
The fact university students drink a lot has once again been confirmed by a recent study, conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, intended to help find ways to decrease the amount of student drinking.
One remedy which works for many students is the end of the year cash crunch which many of our peers are experiencing now.
While this column in no way promotes binge drinking, the following intends to help cash conscious students rationalize the allocation of funds to the moderate consumption of wine.
In 1991, 60 Minutes reported a story called the "French Paradox." The story explained how the high consumption of dietary fat in the French diet could lead to a nation at serious risk of heart disease.
However, it was found France had one of the lowest mortality rates in the world from heart disease. French scientist Serge Renaud reported it was due to wine drinking in France.
Studies over the past 20 years have provided support for the health benefits of drinking wine. Vascular disease is the developed world's No. 1 killer. The moderate consumption of wine has been proven to increase the level of good cholesterol and reduce the chance of blood clotting, thus decreasing the chance of vascular disease.
Wine grapes contain potent natural antioxidant compounds in their seeds, skins and stems which have a positive impact on cholesterol.
Both red and white wine contain these antioxidants, however, they are more concentrated in red wine due it remaining in contact with grape skins in order to extract colour and tannins.
On Feb. 5, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms approved a new label for American wine. The label states "to learn the health benefits of wine consumption send for the federal government's dietary guidelines."
These guidelines contain the following statement: "Current evidence suggests moderate drinking is associated with a lower risk for coronary heart disease in some individuals." Moderate drinking is defined as one to two glasses per day.
This is the first time the U.S. federal government has promoted the consumption of wine and some groups have expressed concerns over possible increases in alcohol abuse.
Both positive and negative effects of wine have been a hot topic since 60 Minutes addressed the issue. While there is still conflicting evidence on the benefits of wine, current evidence and recent government support makes a wine budget a great investment for any student.
Besides, even without the health benefits, the enhancement of life through the enjoyment of wine provides all the rationalization needed.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999