Is red wine good for your heart?

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stethoscope_redwine2Various studies have shown that moderate amounts of all types of alcohol benefit your heart, not just alcohol found in red wine.

Red wine’s potential heart-healthy benefits seams to be a consent within the medical professional. Those who drink moderate amounts of alcohol, including red wine, seem to have a lower risk of heart disease. However, more research is needed before we know whether red wine is better for your heart than are other forms of alcohol, such as beer or spirits.

It’s thought that alcohol:

  • Raises high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol
  • Reduces the formation of blood clots
  • Helps prevent artery damage caused by high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol
  • Produces changes in blood pressure
  • While the news about red wine might sound great if you enjoy a glass of red wine with your evening meal, doctors are wary of encouraging anyone to start drinking alcohol. That’s because too much alcohol can have many harmful effects on your body.

Still, many doctors agree that something in red wine appears to help your heart. It’s possible that antioxidants, such as flavonoids or a substance called resveratrol, have heart-healthy benefits.

How is red wine heart healthy?
Red wine seems to have even more heart-healthy benefits than do other types of alcohol, but it’s possible that red wine isn’t any better than beer, white wine or liquor for heart health. There’s still no clear evidence that red wine is better than other forms of alcohol when it comes to possible heart-healthy benefits.

Antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. A polyphenol called resveratrol is one substance in red wine that’s gotten attention.

What is Resveratrol?
The resveratrol in red wine comes from the skin of grapes used to make wine. Because red wine is fermented with grape skins longer than is white wine, red wine contains more resveratrol.

Some research shows that resveratrol could be linked to a reduced risk of inflammation and blood clotting, both of which can lead to heart disease. Resveratrol might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and prevents blood clots.

Simply eating grapes, or drinking grape juice, has been suggested as one way to get resveratrol without drinking alcohol. Red and purple grape juices may have some of the same heart-healthy benefits of red wine.

Read full article at the Mayo Clinic website