Helloooo tempranillo – scientists have proven once again that we can enjoy the finer things in life and not feel so guilty about it.
In fact, you should be raising your (second) glass of wine to your good health, because, as researchers from Madrid have discovered, low to moderate consumption of red wine can delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Along with a team of researchers, Dr Esteban-Fernández from the Institute of Food Science Research in the Spanish capital studied the compounds left after wine had passed through the gut (as Science Daily describes them, the “so-called wine-derived human gut metabolites”.)
What they did next is add these compounds to human cells under stress to examine the neuronal impact of the metabolites, and discovered that they were actually protecting the cells from dying due to stress.
"It is very important to understand that certain food compounds are responsible for this health benefit in protecting against the onset of neurodegenerative diseases; no medication was involved,” Dr Esteban-Fernández emphasises.
“I am not advocating to replace medicines by diet, but I want to raise more awareness how your diet is helping to prevent diseases or reduces the risk of getting sick.”
Hey, don’t get us wrong, we love the odd tipple, but this study isn’t enough to condone drinking more than what the Australian Department of Health consider to be a safe amount (especially because heavy alcohol intake is linked to causing myriad health conditions).
According to the Department of Health, for healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day reduces your risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury over a lifetime.
Not only that, but drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion.
For more information about Australia’s new national guidelines for alcohol consumption, visit the Department of Health’s website.
If you would like to talk to someone about the effects alcohol can have on you or your family, the Alcohol and Drug Support Line if you on (08) 9442 5000 (metro) or 1800 198 024 (country).