Resveratrol and it’s colleagues
The world of medicine also likes wine.
The main motivation behind medical research in the West is the burden sickness makes on the economy. If a sickness can be cured while one continues to keep on working, then there is no problem, and research is not done on it. For example, somebody with an upper respiratory tract infection can keep on working with a face mask (as we can see in our own country), so the reasons for this illness are not taken seriously. The greatest fear of the capitalist system is the loss in work force and efficiency. The old population is increasing. Old people are losing their consumer status, becoming senile and a burden on society. When euthanasia starts to be acceptable, nobody should be surprised.
The old population is really growing very fast. For example, in the USA the number of +65 people is expected to rise from 35 million to 71.1 million. The ratio of old people to the below 65 population will be %19. This means lots of chronic illnesses, heart disease and cancer. And a lot of medical research.
This is why the research on wine is becoming more and more important. The relationship between medicine and wine is based on the polyphennols in wine.
The polyphenolyic compounds in wine:
Flavonoids: Quercetin, Cathecins, Anthocyanins, Procyanidins
Non Flavonoids: Cinnamates, Cafeic acid, Genictic asid, Vanillic acid and Tannins
Trihydroxycyctilbens: Resveratrol, Polydatin
Polyphenols can be found in grapes and wine, but also in peanuts, dark chocolate, rasperries, blueberries, pomegranates, in white and green tea and in olive oil.
Most of the polyphenols in grapes are pigment molecules and give wine it’s color. They also increase the resistance of grape to fungal diseases and other environmental hazards. They are basically the immune system of the grape. Polyphenols are based mostly in the skin of the grape and in the seeds, but some also are created as a result of the fermentation process. Aging wine in oak barrels also increases polyphenol production. There are some who may say that since grapes have polyphenols, why do we have to drink wine for health, can’t we just eat grapes? But as you can see, fermentation is important in polyphenol production.
Polyphenols give a different kind of taste and body to wine, and more slowly. This is called Phenolic Maturation.
Resveratrol is the most researched of all the wine compounds. It’s not researched because scientists love red wine. It’s researched to save lives. Resveratrol helps wounds heal, prevents infection, reduces age related conditions, lowers bad cholesterol and helps ischemic heart sicknesses, protects the body against emphysema and bronchites, is an antioxidant which prevents free radicals and cancer, and also prevents aging itself! It is found mostly in red wine. And more in cold weather grapes than warm weather grapes. For example, Burgundy Pinot Noir’s have more than southern Cabernet Sauvignon’s. Ten times more in red wine than in white wine. It’s effects have been labelled the French Paradox, but were fully discovered in 1997 when it was found that it prevented cancer growth in mice. Since then, there have been 4000 experiments conducted about Resveratrol. Of course, most of these have been done in a lab on animals. Human research is still limited, but it is certain that the compound prevents chronic disease in humans.
This information is not at all surprising. Hippocrates and Galen had said similar things. It was said that wine was good for wound healing, for example. Galen recommended Theraios, a sweet wine from Crete. The Egyptians also used wine for healing. Wine was the most important disinfectant until clean water came along very recently.
And the World Health Organization included wine in the healthy Mediterranean diet in 1994, despite opposition.
But wine must be consumed in moderation for it to be healthy.
The amount is 2-3×125 ml for men per day, and 1-2×125 ml for women, per day.