Good Morning Gentle Readers,
Sunday night's 60 Minutes aired a segment on Resvaritrol, the remarkable substance in red wine that seems to account for the French Paradox.
The French Paradox first came to light nearly three decades ago after serious research into coronary heart disease revealed that while the French diet will give any food fascist apoplexy, and they've got the per capita record for annual wine consumption, inexplicably, the French have far healthier tickers than their American counterparts.
Although no definitive studies support TWC's thesis, I sometimes wonder if it could also be that there is a difference between eating Chateaubriand with Bearnaise sauce and chasing pork rinds with Code Red. And don't even get me started on that ghastly, repugnant, yet altogether ubiquitous nacho cheese sauce.....
Although the future seems bright for the wonder compound, red wine for health is a bit more nuanced. Much of the heralded cardiovascular benefits of red wine comes from the alcohol and the flavonoids, of which the revered resveratrol is the most prominent.
Moderate consumption of alcohol, any alcohol, decreases coronary heart disease by as much as forty percent while the flavanoids found in red wine act as powerful antioxidants, perhaps adding years of healthy lifespan. Red wine also bumps levels of good cholesterol and is certainly beneficial in regulating blood sugar, a boon to diabetics, many of whom see the onset of the disease later in life.
For those of you paying attention, you'll notice we're not talking about white wine (toldja--Lips that touch white....). That's because the ratio of goodies found in white compared to red is lagging. The effective score is:
It ain't personal. As is the case with most fruits and vegetables, most of the bennies are found in the skins of the grapes, which are left in the must with the juice that will ultimately become red wine.
Red wine also contains large concentrations of folic acid, potassium, and magnesium, all of which are important to circulatory health. Best of all, that pleasant little flush you feel about three sips into the second glass? That is the release of serotonin from your blood platelets. Kinda takes the edge off a less-than-stellar day.
And the starvation diet that we've been told is counter productive? Seems there may be something to that after all. Pop accidentally bought into that about 20 years ago. Today, at 80 years of age, he's six feet tall and weighs about 130 pounds. Looks like he survived Dachau but he's in great health. No red wine, though I believe he takes communion with The Reverend Jack of Tennessee each evening.
If all of this magic pans out, the miracle of resveratrol may have us dancing into our tenth decade on the planet. In the meantime there's Cabernet. Have a glass (or two) for your health!
The Wine Commonsewer
Tip of the glass to Del Mar Dave. TWC equates TV with Opiates and would have missed the show entirely had it not been for Mr Dave. Thanks.