Understanding the Health Benefits of Moderate Red Wine Consumption

Earlier epidemiological studies suggested that alcohol-and therefore, wine, beer and spirits, was the compound responsible for claimed health benefits though its negative effects such as alcoholism and social impacts, cognitive developmental deficiencies, fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), and increased risk of breast cancer in women are undisputed.

In moderate consumption, alcohol has been shown to increase the amount of tPA, or tissue Plasminogen Activator, a substance that catalyzes the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin, the major enzyme responsible for clot breakdown. And in the May 31, 2009 issue, Wine Spectator cites a Stanford University research which claims that aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2)enzymes process the alcohol and “eliminate toxic byproducts created by the breakdown of fats in cells during a heart attack. Eliminating the byproducts prevents additional damage to the heart cells.”

Although alcohol does play a favorable role, more recent studies have demonstrated that…

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