Red Wine and Lowering the Risk of Heart Disease Essay

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Red Wine and Lowering the Risk of Heart Disease

Does the consumption of red wine lower the risk of heart disease?
The incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in France is the lowest among industrial countries, despite the high incidence of several risk factors. In comparison to Americans, the French consume 3.8 times as much butter and 2.8 times as much lard, they have higher cholesterol and blood pressure levels, they smoke on a comparable level to Americans, and they don't exercise quite as often. Despite these appalling health statistics, the French have a 2.5 fold less risk of dying as a result of heart disease. What can begin to explain this? This phenomenon, known as the "French Paradox," was believed to be due
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Polyphenols are a relatively new phenomenon and have not conclusively made their case yet, but there is no disputing the reality that the advocacy of fruit and vegetables as essential components of a healthy diet is based upon their intrinsic content of theses same polyphenols. A major advantage of wine over fruit is that the dietary polyphenols are soluble and bioavailable in wine, which is the degree to which the amount of an ingested nutrient is absorbed and is available to the body. This is an advantage over solid vegetables and fruits, which contain their phenolic components in polymeric, insoluble or tightly bound, and compartmentalized forms that render them unavailable for absorption.
Since very little is known about the extent or amount of uptake of these dietary constituents, it remains to be fully established that red wine provides a more favorable medium than fruits and vegetables. While red wine is apparently a better source of polyphenols, it was necessary to check on wine's inherent properties through other studies. The first study examines resveratrol, a polyphenol in red wine that has been associated with reduced heart disease. The second study examines whether alcohol-free red wine has the same effects as alcoholic red wine, so as to ascertain whether red wine intrinsically has preventive properties other alcoholic beverages, fruits, and vegetable may not have. And finally, the third study examines the

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