It is a proven fact that wine has beneficial side effects on the heart, having some role in preventing heart disease. There have also been recent discoveries that indicate that drinking wine during pregnancy might not be as damaging to a growing fetus as previously believed. Some studies have also found that drinking wine in moderation also helped alleviate the damage caused by higher cholesterol levels. However, a newer study has also found that there may be even more side effects to wine drinking, particularly for women. A recent study conducted in Spain has found that wine can help lower the inflammation of blood vessels in women.
A Spanish research team, headed by Dr. Emilio Sacanella, reported his findings to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study found that wine was capable of lowering levels of the various chemicals that cause the inflammation of blood vessels and arteries, which then have the effect of lowering the risk of heart disease. This is apart from the already-documented effects that red wine has. The study found that both white and red wine had this effect, though most tests reflected that red wine had a much more appreciable effect than white in the same period, given the same amounts.
A variety of studies have already found that heart disease risks are lowered by regularly drinking certain amounts of wine. The length and amount of wine varies, with some taking place over an extended period while others were more focused on the immediate effects. The Spanish research team conducted their study over a period of four weeks, with each test subject taking four glasses of wine per day. The results were observed and recorded over that period, though there was no indication of any effort being made to eliminate lifestyle factors. There were no test subjects taking heart medication during or prior to the test period, however.
However, Sacanella was quick to add that just because they had better heart health, it does not mean wine was the only factor in the results. The researchers have not yet eliminated other potential factors. Among these factors are exercise, diet, and habits. According to the study, any of them could have had as much of an effect on the results as the wine theoretically could have. Further study has been proposed to eliminate all possible factors to determine what, specifically, caused the benefits to occur.
Should wine prove to be the key to the results, there are already some theories as to how it came about. One of them involves the number of polyphenols in wine, which are known to have effects similar to the ones that have been observed by various studies. Theoretically, that would also explain why red wine has a more appreciable and noticeable effect than white, due to the higher polyphenol count and concentration in red wine as opposed to white.
However, this is merely speculation at this point and researchers agree that further conjecture is not going to be of much use until it can be determined whether or not the decreased inflammation was caused by the wine, or by other factors.