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Wine and Women’s Health

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Is Wine Drinking Good for Women’s Health?

by Sarah Collins, Demand Media

I was going to share this article on a “Wine Wednesday”, but in honor of National Drink Wine Day, I decided to post today – hey it’s 5:00 on a Wednesday somewhere – or least it could be after a few glasses of Pinot Grigio!

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Clink Clink Cheers – Drink Responsibly!

You might associate a glass of wine with girl’s night out or a way to relax after a difficult day — but you can link it to your health as well. Wine plays a role in your health in an obvious way when it comes to over consuming calories and making healthy decisions when you’re a little tipsy, but it can also benefit — and harm — your health in ways you may never have realized.

 

Protect Your Heart

Antioxidants known as flavonoids found in red wine might help protect women from cardiovascular disease, according to research published in 2007 in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Flavonoids come from the skins of grapes; white wine is made without the skins, so it’s a lesser source of these healthful compounds. According to Yale-New Haven Hospital, cabernet sauvignon, petit syrah and pinot noir have the highest concentration of flavonoids.

Don’t get too excited, though — bran, apples, pears, grapefruit, strawberries and chocolate, along with red wine, were all linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease in the study. In another study, published in 2011 in the “Journal of Wine Research,” women experienced a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that leads to heart disease — if they drank one glass of wine a day.

 

Breast Cancer: The Jury’s Still Out

Although alcohol has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, a study published in 2012 in the “Journal of Women’s Health” disputed the notion, particularly in the case of red wine. In the study, women were assigned to drink either red or white wine; researchers found that women who drank red wine had higher levels of aromatase inhibitors, which are used to treat breast cancer, due to the chemicals in the skin of the grapes used for making red wine. White wine didn’t appear to have the same effect. According to the co-author of the study, this doesn’t mean that white wine increases the risk of breast cancer, but it might not offer the same protective benefits as red wine. However, researchers note that more work needs to be done.

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A Sharper Mind

If you want to stay sharp into your golden years, drinking a moderate amount of wine regularly may help. Research published in 2010 in “Acta Neurologica Scandinavica” looked at the cognitive performance of more than 5,000 men and women for a period of seven years. Although both men and women who drank wine moderately did better on the cognitive tests after seven years, the study found that woman who abstained from alcohol entirely had a lower cognitive performance on the tests.

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Watch Out for Overconsumption

A woman’s body processes alcohol, including wine, differently than a man’s body. This means women get drunk more quickly and show signs of liver damage earlier, according to an article by Amy Robach from ABC News. One serving of wine — the recommended amount per day — is just 5 ounces, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This amount of wine contains approximately 120 calories, depending on the variety — a few of those in one night can add up quickly, leading to weight gain and associated health risks.

 

ORIGINALLY POSTED AT http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/wine-drinking-good-womens-health-10313.html



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