Is wine bad for you?

Drinking more than three glasses of wine a day is lethal for the human body, as it increases triglyceride levels and, consequently, causes arterial hypertension. Therefore, it is recommended to measure your daily intake.

Is wine bad for you?
Photo by Kym Ellis / Unsplash

Excessive and careless consumption of wine is conducive to the onset of diseases that are often fatal, but moderate ingestion can be favorable for general and oral health; there are more benefits than detriments to health.

Is wine beneficial or harmful to health?

Wine, despite the prestige achieved as a highly consumed beverage worldwide, has certain factors in its composition that cause various health damages and benefits. The main component of wine is water, which makes up 80 to 90% of the total. The rest of the substances are present in the must and appear during fermentation and in the conservation and aging phases as a result of the chemical and biological reactions that take place there.

Among the detriments to health are the alcohol content and the fact that the dioxide in wine can cause asthma attacks in sensitive people. However, most wines contain amounts well below the dangerous levels for a normal person. Frequent consumption of wine in high doses also causes tissue lesions (especially in the central nervous system and liver) which constitutes, like other alcoholic beverages, a predisposing factor for cirrhosis and carcinomas.

Like any other alcoholic beverage, if taken excessively, it can lead to alcoholism, one of the most serious addictions facing society. It also leads to the onset of cardiovascular disease and sudden death. Drinking more than three glasses of wine a day is lethal for the human body, as it increases triglyceride levels, and consequently, causes arterial hypertension. Therefore, it is recommended to measure your daily intake.

Wine has a wide range of polyphenols, and the protective effect has not yet been assigned to a specific fraction or compound. Wine compounds act as potent antioxidants, reduce low-density lipoprotein, modulate cell signaling pathways, decrease platelet aggregation, and are also shown to be anti-inflammatory and apoptosis-inducing agents and modulators of metabolic transduction signaling pathways.

Regular and moderate wine consumption (one or two glasses per day) is associated with decreased incidence of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and certain types of cancer such as colon, breast, lung, and prostate cancer. Scientific evidence on the protective effects of resveratrol is insufficient; the benefit is perceived with low or moderate wine consumption, while high intakes or no wine intakes did not produce a protective effect.

Wine and coffee are two beverages that, similar to green tea, contain a wide variety of phytochemical substances that have been associated with a protective effect against heart disease. Although these compounds, mostly polyphenols, have been intensively studied, in the last two decades the main effects of wine (or alcoholic beverages in general) and coffee consumption have been attributed to ethanol and caffeine, respectively. Recent reviews indicate that beer and especially red wine are associated with a greater reduction in the risk of cerebrovascular disease due to their high polyphenol content.

Red wine is healthy when drunk in appropriate amounts, which according to experts is one glass per day. Nor should it be consumed at any time of the day; research considers that the appropriate time is during dinner or lunch. Several studies state that a glass of red wine a day helps prevent many cardiovascular diseases, both in men and women, thanks to its high content of polyphenols. It also serves to treat ailments and disorders such as diabetes, dementia, or osteoporosis, due to its antioxidant effect.

In summary, although wine is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages, it is not so long ago that its advantages for human health have been discovered. Among the main benefits found of the consumption of a glass of wine per day are the following:

  • Reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Prevents flu and colds
  • Reduces the possibility of suffering throat cancer
  • Helps to stay awake or wakefulness
  • Promotes digestion
  • Prevents premature aging of memory cells
  • Improves varicose veins
  • Prevents prostate cancer
  • Promotes the assimilation of proteins
  • Improves skin
  • Helps vision and prevents diseases such as diabetic retinopathy
  • Reduces pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids
  • Reduces allergies due to its antihistamine properties.
  • Avoids the formation of blood clots.

Among the negative effects on the oral cavity, the appearance of stains on the teeth due to the consumption of red wine and its coloration has been described. The causes of dyschromia can be originated from different factors. Among those of external origin are pigmentations caused by the ingestion of some foods and infusions such as tea, coffee, and other beverages with artificial pigments.

One of the main indications given to the patient who receives dental whitening treatment is "not to drink beverages containing colorants", among which red wine is one of them. The color of the teeth is not the only factor that must be taken into account to achieve dental esthetics, but it is one of the most relevant. Experts warn that red wine stains the teeth and adheres to the enamel. To counteract this, it is recommended to carry out good oral hygiene after drinking a glass.

The consumption of a daily glass of wine provides man with a series of benefits that lead life towards a healthier and happier destiny, but at the same time, not respecting this consumption can be lethal to health, which makes the effects of wine constantly the object of study.