AS THE famous cartoon guru Homer Simpson once remarked: “A toast to alcohol, the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.”
Well, the first part is undoubtedly true, for alcohol can affect so much of our lives – our physical as well as mental health – from heart, liver and kidney problems to depression.
Drink, or more specifically alcohol, can ravage the body, destroy the body’s health and mind, ruin fitness and enjoyment of life…but that’s when you take it to excess.
One of the truest phrases for drinking, whatever the tipple – beer, wine or spirits – is do it in moderation, and then not only can it help you keep your health and fitness but can actually help stave off health problems, according to some worldwide experts.
In recent years wine has very much been at the forefront of potential health benefits, and the list keeps getting longer.
Already well-known as being healthy for the heart, wine in moderation may also help you lose weight, reduce forgetfulness, boost your immunity and help prevent bone loss.
In various studies, surveys and analysis, if you are a wine drinker take heart from some of these results.
Wine could preserve your memory. When researchers gave memory quizzes to women in their 70s, those who took one drink or more every day scored much better than those who drank less or not at all. Wine helps prevent clots and reduce blood vessel inflammation, both of which have been linked to cognitive decline and heart disease.
Studies have found that people who drink wine daily have lower body mass than those who indulge occasionally; moderate drinkers have narrower waists and less abdominal fat than people who drink liquor.
In one British study, those who drank roughly a glass of wine a day reduced by 11 percent a bacteria infection that is a major cause of gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancers, while a Spanish study claims as little as half a glass of wine may guard against food poisoning caused by germs like salmonella.
In Australia, researchers who compared women with ovarian cancer to cancer-free women found that roughly one glass of wine a day reduced the risk of the disease by as much as 50 percent.
And finally, premenopausal women who drink a glass or two of wine a day are 40 percent less likely than women who don’t drink to develop Type 2 diabetes, according to a 10-year US study.
So if you like a drink, wine may well be the answer…in moderation, of course!