You may have heard that resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red wine, isn’t the wonder antioxidant it’s cracked up to be. A study published in May in JAMA Internal Medicine found that resveratrol won’t help you live longer after all. The good news? There are other beneficial antioxidants in red wine.
A 2014 study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests that anthocyanins may protect against type 2 diabetes. Anthocyanins are found in red grapes, wine and berries.
Additionally, a study published in BMC Medicine showed a strong link between an increased lifespan and a diet rich in polyphenols, specifically stilbenes, which are found in red wine and olives.
Lifestyle factors can also affect whether wine is of any benefit. A study from the Czech Republic showed moderate consumption of red or white wine (one to two glasses for women; two to 2’½ for men) helped protect the heart, but only in study participants who exercised regularly.
Red Wine and Heart Health
To find out more about the relationship between red wine and heart health, we spoke to Matthew Mayer, senior research specialist at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSF). “Regular over-consumption of alcohol will actually increase blood pressure over time, and acutely,” he says.
The HSF says the best health benefits come from not drinking at all.
“If you do drink, be sure to follow Canada’s low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines,” advises Mayer. According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, the limit for women is two drinks per day, with a maximum of 10 per week; for men, it’s three drinks per day, 15 per week. And pregnant or breastfeeding women are advised not to drink at all.