Tuesday, 28 February 2017 14:46

Highlights of the Wine Health 2017 Congress in Logroño, Spain

Interesting NEW evidence

  • There were many interesting topics covered at the conference, however, one very intriguing subject is the influence of wine on the gut microbiota. The microbiota is very different for each individual and the research is just at the beginning to understand what is going on. However, there are indications that moderate wine consumption can enhance the gut microbiota which acts as a mediator of some beneficial effects of wine. The various polyphenols of wine and their metabolites are believed to be involved in this process. 
  • A high intake of alcoholic beverages is associated with a higher risk of upper digestive tract, colorectal, liver and female breast cancers. However, more studies are needed to evaluate the effects of moderate wine intake in a healthy diet (Mediterranean diet). Results from the PREDIMED trial showed that moderate wine consumption in combination with a Mediterranean diet decreased the risk of death from cancer by 42% and 32% at a consumption of >5-15 g of alcohol/d and >15 g of alcohol/d, respectively.


EXISTING evidence confirmed

  • Even after 25 years of research, the J-shaped curve is still valid. Moderate wine drinkers have a lower risk of cardiovascular and total mortality than teetotalers and individuals who drink heavily.
  • The drinking pattern is important for favorable health benefits: it is preferable to consume wine moderately and daily and best to drink with meals. Binge drinking is unhealthy!
  • Even though excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages is unquestionable harmful, consistent epidemiological evidence has indicated that light to moderate wine intake can lower the risk of dementia, protect the cardiovascular system and reduce the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Current evidence suggests that wine may confer greater effects than other alcoholic beverages because of their higher polyphenol content, however, the mechanisms are still unknown. Alcohol by itself has been postulated to act as a protective factor through different mechanism. The scientific data supports that moderate wine consumers have a higher reduction of cardiovascular risk factors and a lower incidence of heart attacks or strokes, compared to drinkers of other alcoholic beverages. 


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