Does red wine make my heart healthy?

It may help if you eat well and exercise regularly. It has long been thought that red wine confers protective effects against heart disease because of its antioxidant/polyphenol and alcohol content. Red wine is rich in antioxidants such as resveratrol and quercetin, which both have been associated with maintaining heart health.

The alcohol and red wine-specific substances, especially the flavonoid resveratrol, may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of "good" cholesterol, reducing inflammation, increasing nitric oxide bioavailability, inhibiting of fat cell proliferation, and protecting against artery damage. While red wine clearly has more antioxidants than other sources of alcohol, there is still no clear evidence that red wine is better for your health than other delivery systems of alcohol because moderate alcohol consumption from any source delivers similar benefits.

The heart benefits that may occur with red wine start with just 1 glass a day for women and 1-2 glasses for men. Moderate alcohol consumption is considered 2 drinks/day for men; 1 for women. One drink contains 14 grams of alcohol meaning: one 12 oz beer (5% alcohol), one 5 oz glass of wine (12%) and one 1.5 oz of hard liquor (40% or 80 proof) are each one drink. The down side is that moderate drinking was recently associated with increased risk of breast cancer in women. Additionally, it can lead to excessive drinking. All this said, moderate drinking appears to be part of a healthy diet.

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