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More evidence that red wine has health benefits

The case for sipping red wine is mounting. Substantial evidence links drinking moderate amounts (up to one five-ounce glass a day for women and up to two glasses a day for men) with protection against cardiovascular disease, loss of bone density and dementia, reports scientist Clare Hasler of the University of California, Davis.

Red wine has basked in its health reputation since the early 1990s, when it was purported to be the mystery behind the "French paradox" - the observation that the French enjoy lower rates of heart disease, despite their rich-in-saturated-fats diet.

What's behind wine's health properties? It's the high concentration of antioxidant polyphenolics (plant substances) and anti-inflammatory properties of the compound resveratrol, according to the Hasler, whose article appeared in Food Technology.

Hasler warns of one area in which red wine may not be protective, however: a higher risk for certain cancers with even light to moderate alcohol intake.

- Harvard Health Letters

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