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04.20.2006

Put Down That Glass Of Wine. It Might Be Bad For You.

My dad has been slowly switching from beer to wine. I'd like to say it's my influence, but I can hardly take full credit. Certainly one of the motivating factors has been all the great health news about drinking red wine in moderation. I used to keep track of all the health benefits of red wine, but they got so numerous that I had to stop, otherwise I would be reporting several new ones per week. Literally.

One of the longest standing research results about red wine's health properties has been its benefits for the heart, specifically it's tendency to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and prevent heart disease through its friendly compound resveratrol.

Well, they were wrong.

At least that's what a new study suggests. Conducted by the UC San Francisco School of Nursing this study looked at the test subjects from various studies that purported to show benefits from drinking red wine in moderation, and found that the subjects were too varied in their drinking habits to have provided statistically significant data. In particular they found that many of them had actually quit drinking prior to showing benefits to their health.

So while this study doesn't show that drinking wine in moderation is actually bad for you, it does undermine some of the studies that say the opposite. I'm sure there are plenty of soundly researched studies out there that do conclusively point to some health benefits to red wine, but apparently we all have to be a bit more cautious in justifying our consumption for medical reasons.

Even if red wine isn't as good for my dad as we think, I'm happy that he's increasingly more willing to share a bottle with me.

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