What is known about the benefits of wine: Red wine in modest doses reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and prolongs life. Modest doses are one serving per day for women and two for men. However, red wine is not a magic wand. Because alcohol in general is the cause of many diseases and premature death.
What is unknown: There have been no randomized controlled trials of the long-term effects of alcohol on the body. Namely, such experiments are the scientific standard. That is, it is impossible to say with complete certainty that alcohol directly affects health. This applies to most habits that form a lifestyle. No one tested the benefits and harms of smoking or physical education using evidence-based medicine.
What it means: if you do not have chronic diseases and alcohol addiction (even defeated), a glass of wine can be beneficial. But if you have health problems, if you are prone to addiction, then alcohol will do more harm than help.
So where is the truth? Vox journalists analyzed more than 30 studies and interviewed five experts to understand when alcohol is good and when it is bad. For everyone who is not too lazy to read, we have translated the entire article.
Once upon a time, scientists adhered to the version that red wine is healthy. In the 1990s, researchers were puzzled: why is there so little cardiovascular disease in France? And this is provided that the French smoke a lot and love fatty meat food. There was an assumption that the reason is red wine. This opinion has been fixed for many years. Wine, alcohol, platelets, and the French paradox for coronary heart disease..
Since then, science has moved forward, researchers have realized that this statement is not entirely accurate. Today, many experts say that a small amount of any alcohol can be beneficial. But there are those who strongly disagree with this.
Scientific opinion on alcohol
Science treats alcohol with restraint. Any statement about how alcohol affects health cannot be 100% true, because there are no studies in the world that would meet modern standards Literature review current through: Nov 2016..
The best way to find out how alcohol affects a person is to conduct a double-blind, randomized trial. This means that it is necessary to take two groups of subjects. One group must drink a glass of red every day for decades. The other group should drink some kind of imitation wine, a placebo (but not guess that it is not wine). This is not possible and is unlikely to ever be possible.Professor in the School of Medicine at Stanford University
It is impossible to verify that all subjects comply with the prescriptions for so long. You can’t force people to drink wine at the whim of scientists, because alcohol is addictive.
Therefore, two types of studies are now used, albeit not as accurate:
- Checking the short-term effects of alcohol (such as blood lipid levels). Unfortunately, such studies say nothing about the long-term, how alcohol is associated with heart disease. At best, it is possible to make assumptions.
- Observational study. Scientists have been interviewing and surveying drinkers and teetotalers for many years. But these groups differ not only in their attitude to alcohol. Therefore, it is difficult to determine which reason led to a particular effect. If wine drinkers live longer than beer drinkers, is beer to blame? Or are wine lovers on average richer and better fed?
- Research is not useless. Scientists use them to study all the habits related to lifestyle: physical education, smoking (it’s hard to imagine in what a twisted world a double-blind study of the dangers of cigarettes is being conducted). In the end, these studies paint a clear picture, and we have nothing better. Let’s figure out what we know about red wine and alcohol in general.