Chances are, you've heard that a little alcohol- especially wine is good for the heart and for health generally.
Sorting out fact from wishful thinking isn't really easy. Research, however reveals that a little wine is probably fine, just don't over do it.
FACTS AND FALLACIES
There has been a lot of talk lately about the risks and rewards that drinking wine has on a person's health. So what's true and what's not?
In reality, 'moderate' drinking (one or two glasses a day) does seem to protect against heart disease- but primarily for men aged over 4o and pre0menopausal women. There is little evidence that drinking wine or any other alcohol will improve the heath of younger people, who are less at risk of heart disease in the first place.
According to he British heart foundation, drinking more than two glasses a day could be harmful.
But before you go and pour your wine collection down the sink, relax. It really is true that wine, particularly red wine, does not contain several antioxidants, such as quercetin and resveratol, which may play a part in helping to prevent heart disease and cancer.
A woman can drink up to three glasses a day without significant risk to health.
RAISE YOUR GLASS TO RED WINE
Scientists have found
that red wines have higher levels of polyphenols, antioxidants that may reduce the risk of heart attack. In general, the darker the wine, the higher the antioxidant content, in tests, cabernet sauvignon grapes were shown to contain the most polyphenols.
Professors suggest that other red grape varieties with medium-to-high levels of antioxidants are merlot, zinfandel, syrah and petit syrah.
Research also suggests that wines from milder regions such as Bordeaux, Roija and California's Napa Valley, may have higher antioxidant levels than wines from hot regions such as Languedoc in France and Southern Italy.
Some research further suggests that white wine has health benefits too. Winemakers have created a chardonnay called Paradoxe Blanc, which is four times higher in polyphenols than red wine.
BEWARE OF BINGE DRINKING
According to Alcohol Concern, at least one in four men and one in seven women drink more than the guidelines.
This can make you more vulnerable to heart disorders, including high blood pressure and stroke, even if you are not in the high-risk group. For women in their twenties, drinking heavily can contribute to osteoporosis later on.
Binge drinking is especially harmful and can damage the brain. Regular heavy drinking is associated with a wide range of other health problems from liver disease to loss of libido, menstrual problems, nerve and muscle damage, and psychiatric problems, including clinical depression, as well as increased risk of accidents.
Alcohol is thought to be responsible for about three per cent of all cancer cases, people who drink more than five units a day are more likely to develop cancer of the mouth, larynx or oesophagus. But doctors argue that moderate wine drinkers have fewer coronary diseases and cancers than those who prefer other alcoholic drinks.
Ugandans may not be wine connoisseurs, yet, but the numbers keep growing, and you can tell by the month that fewer are choosing wine tasting to anything else