And You Thought Wine Was Healthy?

Don't let this stop you from drinking, though.

A recent study by scientists in the Czech republic has some news agencies reporting that moderate consumption of wine might help you live longer.

A more detailed analysis of the IVV (In Vino Veritas) study indicates that those claims may be slightly overstated by the media.

The year long study, led by Professor Milos Taborsky and presented at a congress of European cardiologists in Barcelona, was conducted to "compare the long-term effect of regular red and white wine drinking on the biomarkers of artherosclerosis," primarily HDL (or "good") cholesterol.

HDL cholesterol is thought to remove LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, from the bloodstream where it can lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke. A high level of HDL is considered healthy. Taborsky"s team expected to find a 13 percent increase in good cholesterol among red wine drinkers and a five percent increase among white wine drinkers.

What he found, however, was that there was no difference in HDL levels between either of the two groups after the study. According to a European Society of Cardiology press release, Taborsky said, "A rise in HDL cholesterol is the main indication of a protective effect against CVD, therefore we can conclude that neither red or white wine had any impact on study participants as a whole (emphasis added)."

The study did find a subset of participants whose cholesterol was beneficially affected during the study.

Relating to this, Taborsky noted, "The only positive and continuous result was in the subgroup of patients who took more exercise, which means regular exercise at least twice a week, plus the wine consumption. In this group HDL cholesterol increased and LDL and total cholesterol decreased in the red and white wine groups. There may be some synergy between the low dose of ethyl alcohol in wine and exercise which is protective against (cardiovascular disease)."

This finding, however, was incidental. Because there was apparently no control group to make a scientific comparison against, it is hasty to attribute any health benefits to wine consumption in conjunction with exercise, as studies already show that exercise alone has a healthy impact on cholesterol and cardiovascular health.

In other words, drink to your health, but not for your health. Cheers.

Source(s): As cited, with an H/T to The Telegraph via Jezebel. If you liked this, share it with a friend over a bottle of plonk.