Saturday, February 11, 2006

And It's Good For You, Too

Yet another study has appeared adding to a growing body of evidence that red wine is not just good for the soul, it's good for the body, too. The latest is that there's new evidence that drinking red wine can help you live longer.

I couldn't be more delighted. Now my wines and I can both exhibit great length.

Surely, by now, you've heard that numerous studies have shown a link between red wine consumption and decreased risk of heart disease. And, you probably think that all this started with some research around the time of the famous 60 Minutes "French Paradox" episode in 1991. What you may not know, however, is that findings of this kind have been around for at least three decades.

Some wine writers have done their homework, and you can read about how the NIH suppressed the results of the Framingham heart study, which found in the 1970s that moderate drinkers died half as often as non-drinkers from heart disease. It seems that anything that might encourage, albeit moderate, drinking was not politically possible.

The NIH takes a more thoughtful approach these days, but it is clear that the government and medical community contributed to a lengthy delay in Americans getting good information about healthy lifestyle choices. The studies showing wine's health benefits keep coming fast and furious now, which is great. So, maybe America will become a real wine-drinking culture yet.


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