Red, Red Wine and Women: A Heart to Heart
by Tracy Hartley PT, DPT
Red wine is consistently one of the preferred drinks of the women in our family. Most of the men prefer an ice, cold beer. But a good glass of Cabernet Sauvignon is also a favorite for women beyond my little circle of influence. What many do not realize is that the benefits of a nice Merlot are greater than just a little indulgence. The benefits are more than just a way to relax after a fully packed day of commitments. Many studies also support numerous health benefits, most importantly the prevention of heart disease, experienced by those who join in the partaking in a nice glass of red. Men, you may be missing out on something. Here is a short summary of heart to heart findings from studies involving red wine.
- A 12 year study of over 13,000 men and women revealed a 50% reduction in death from coronary heart disease and stroke. Beer and spirit drinkers did not show the same advantage. Red wine was better!
- A review of 13 more studies involving over 200,000 men and women subjects showed a 32% decrease in heart disease compared to only a 20% decrease for those that drank beer. Red wine was better!
- Red wine decreased a clot forming protein, fibrinogen, which contributes to blockages in the heart.
- Red wine increased “good cholesterol” or HDL (12% in the study I reviewed) which in turn lowers “bad cholesterol” or LDL.
- The groups that benefited the most were men and women of middle age (also the age group which increased risk of heart disease begins).
- Healthy adults, adults with a history of heart attack, and adult diabetics all seemed to equally enjoy the same level of benefits.
It’s important to note that the studies above involved subjects who were moderate drinkers generally defined as 1-2 drinks of alcohol per day, 3-4 days per week.
Red wine appears to have heart health benefits for men and women alike. Women, you should have a heart to heart with your man about the heart health benefits of red wine instead of that ice-cold brew.
Men, you should also know that, in another study I came across, 800 women that drank 1 – 2 servings of red wine per day reported increased romantic desire. Red, red wine!