Hundreds and hundreds of peer-reviewed studies published in the world's top scientific and medical publications find that there is very, very little difference between wine, beer and spirits when consumed:
- in moderation
- with food.
IT'S THE ALCOHOL, STUPID!
Wine's biggest advantage is the way it is consumed.
There are probably some small, additional benefits to wine from its various organic compounds. But this NYTimes piece is simply a product of scientific ignorance ... and a lot of PR people from Welch's Grape Juice and your local NeoProhibitionist.
You can find out the scientific facts here:The French Paradox And Beyond.
By now the cardiovascular benefits of a daily glass of wine are well known. But many teetotalers wonder whether they can reap the same rewards from wine’s unfermented sibling, or are they simply left out altogether.
Grape juice may not provide much buzz, but you can still toast to good health when it comes to its ability to avert heart disease. Alcohol in moderation can relax blood vessels and increase levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol. But the substances believed to provide much of red wine’s heart benefits — resveratrol and flavonoids — are also found in grape juice, especially the variety made from red and dark purple Concord grapes.
Independent studies have found that like alcohol, grape juice can reduce the risk of blood clots and prevent LDL (“bad” cholesterol) from sticking to coronary arteries, among other cardiac benefits. One, conducted by scientists at the University of Wisconsin and published in the journal Circulation, looked at the effects of two servings of Concord grape juice a day in 15 people with coronary artery disease. After two weeks, the subjects had improved blood flow and reduced oxidation of LDL. Oxidized LDL can damage arteries.
Other studies in humans and animals, including one last year in the journal Atherosclerosis, have shown that daily consumption may lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But beware: some varieties of juice have sugar and artificial ingredients.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Studies suggest that some kinds of grape juice may provide the cardiac benefits of red wine.