Practice Moderation

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Written by Inara Hasanali, M.A.  | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Aug 16, 2014
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Wine – ‘The Elixir of Gods’ But Man Should Practice Moderation

Consumption of alcohol varies with geographical location, culture, age and income. Nevertheless it is universally important to practice sensible drinking. The human body has the ability to tolerate only moderate levels of alcohol. Care should be taken to avoid drinking on empty stomach and never to exceed limits while partying.

The ability to drink alcohol moderately is not inborn, but one that has to be acquired through learning. Many adolescents begin to experiment with drinks by the impressionable age of fifteen. In communities where drinking is intricately woven to their day-to-day existence, parents should come forth as role models. They should, from time to time, share a glass of wine or other light drinks with their children in order to emphasize the importance of moderation. It is also important for parents and community elders to guide the generation by helping them to focus on life at large. The youngsters need to be motivated to bravely challenge obstacles instead of succumbing to life’s pressures and binge on drinks.

Wine when consumed in moderation is thought to be beneficial in reducing the risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). This may explain the “French paradox.” The French diet is considered to be high in fat especially saturated fat. However the death rate of the French from CHD remains relatively low. This may be partially attributed to their consumption of red wine. However we should not forget the fact that the French diet generally has a high intake of fruits and vegetables, which are overall perhaps the most beneficial foods in any diet.

Red wines contain resvesterol - a substance contained in skin of the grapes. Research indicates that these Flavonoids, acts like an anti-oxidant and prevents cancer and occurrence of heart disease.

Although there are benefits by consuming alcohol, abstainers are not advised to begin drinking a glass of wine for the benefits of resvesterol as resvesterol can also be obtained from consuming the raw fruits such as blueberries and grapes.

The studies of the benefits of moderate consumption of alcohol to health have been mostly cross sectional ones rather than longitudinal studies; where the abstainers are drawn from the “healthy” population.

Our ancestors knew of the advantages of wine when consumed in moderation. In fact alcohol is probably the oldest form of drug. The Apostle Paul suggested to Timothy to drink wine to help his continuous sickness and help his stomach.

Benjamin Franklin, a well-known statesman, scientist, and philosopher, extols this wonder drink, when he said,

"Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy." With that note, let’s raise a toast to good health!

References:

  1. Thomas DB, Alcohol as a cause of cancer.The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA. Environ Health Perspect. 1995 November; 103(Suppl 8): 153–160.
  2. This History of Alcohol - (http://www.drug-rehabs.org/alcoholhistory.php)

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