Scientists like a good drink

A brief review of alcohol’s many benefits:

Gallstones & kidney stones: An Italian survey of 15,910 men and 13,674 women discovered that moderate daily drinking protected against gallstones. Japanese and French studies have concluded the same. Drinking the right kind of alcohol can help with kidney stones, too. A study published in the “American Journal of Epidemiology” indicated that the risk of forming kidney stones was reduced 39 percent among daily wine drinkers.

Body weight: Drinkers might just win the battle of the bulge. A study in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition” found wine drinkers were the leanest among their study group and concluded that consumption of two glasses of wine with meals has no adverse impact on body weight. Another group of scientists found that small amounts of alcohol consumed regularly were associated with the smallest abdominal measurements in their focus group.

Diabetes: The Harvard School of Public Health found that women who drink moderately are 58 percent less likely to develop diabetes.

Food poisoning: Dr. Martin Weisse of West Virginia University has conducted research suggesting one to two glasses of wine with meals may help prevent food poisoning, dysentery and so-called traveler’s diarrhea.

The common cold: Experts at five universities found that people who drank more than two glasses of red wine a day had 44 percent fewer colds than teetotalers.

Dementia: Two European studies have shown that wine might preserve cognitive function in the elderly. Light to moderate wine consumption, the studies concluded, has a prophylactic effect that may impact Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Eyesight: Researchers reported in a recent issue of the “Journal of the American Geriatrics Society” that people who drink wine in moderation might be less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration.

Heart disease: Scientific study after study has confirmed positive links between moderate consumption of wine and lower risk of coronary disease. And the good news keeps on coming. A recent study published in the “American Journal of Physiology,” for example, indicates that resveratrol, the antioxidant compound that makes wine healthful, also inhibits a protein that produces a condition called cardio fibrosis, which reduces the heart’s pumping efficiency.

Longer life: A Harvard study has shown that good old resveratrol can help extend the life span by as much as 80 percent.                

Ulcers: A study published in the January 2003 “American Journal of Gastroenterology” showed that moderate, regular consumption of wine decreases the risk of peptic ulcers and may help to rid the body of the bacteria suspected of causing them.


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