Paul Berlacher, MD, FACC, with ProMedica Physicians Cardiology, believes that moderate consumption of wine can have a positive effect on a person’s heart health. And with an impressive wine cellar in his home, he’s a doctor who practices what he preaches.
“Red wine may reduce inflammation and increase your levels of the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol,” says Dr. Berlacher. The effects on your blood can make it less “sticky,” which reduces the risk of heart attack.
Inflammation and plaque build up in the blood vessel wall leads to atherosclerosis. Anti-oxidants found in red wine can reduce effects of inflammation and fight against plaque build up and, therefore, potentially reduce atherosclerosis. Red wine may also enhance blood flow to the heart’s small blood vessels (this is called vasodilatation).
Resveratrol and polyphenols — the antioxidants found in grapes — promote heart health and longevity, when consumed in moderation with healthy diet, and exercise.
What you consume with the wine also plays a role. “A healthy, Mediterranean diet,” said Dr. Berlacher, may enhance benefits.
A bad diet, no matter how much red wine is consumed, will not result in a boost of heart health.
But how much wine is too much? Dr. Berlacher suggests one glass per day for women and two per day for men. More than three glasses of wine is hazardous for your overall health and heart health as well.
If you are not sure which red wine works best for you, wine tastings are a fun and inexpensive way to sample the options.
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