Sep. 05, 2012 - Issue #881: Sex 2012
Red wine and your body
Some results of imbibing are better than othersThe news went viral as soon as it emerged a few years ago: red wine is actually good for you. Specifically, certain compounds in red wine, namely resveratrol, were cited by medical studies as having a positive impact in combating heart disease and improving overall cardiovascular health.
Imbibers around the world rejoiced at this veritable "get out of jail free" card, and it was a discovery that launched a thousand books (and even more online articles) about the supposed health benefits of a red wine diet. The last few years have seen the rise of numerous other medical studies linking resveratrol with other positive health effects, including cancer prevention and life extension.
But as those medical studies tend to do, their results contradicted other studies that linked alcohol consumption—even at moderate levels—with increased occurrences of various cancers. Further, in January 2012 one of the leading researchers in the field of resveratrol and cardiovascular health, Dipak K Das, was found to have committed more than 100 instances of data fabrication and falsification, throwing a shroud of suspicion over this entire branch of study.
From the very beginning, however, news stories misused the resveratrol-red wine connection: while resveratrol is found in red wine, it occurs in such minute quantities that its effects on one's body are almost negligible. If you really want to increase your consumption of this compound, you're better off eating grapes in raw form, not fermented. But the search term "fresh fruit" doesn't improve a website's SEO rank like "red wine" does, and so this
dubious connection persists.
Now, none of this should be shocking news. Alcohol damages the body; this is common knowledge. But wine drinkers need not despair, for the general consensus is still that moderate red wine consumption (no more than one glass a day) is OK. It might not be particularly good for you, and it's certainly no miracle cure, but it's also no worse than any number of other things that people consume on a daily basis (foods high in fat and salt, high fructose corn syrup, and red meat, just to name a few).
Something else to keep in mind, especially for couples seeking to maintain the red wine component of their romantic evening, is a 2009 study conducted by Italy's University of Florence which showed a direct correlation between red wine consumption and an increase in women's libido. The study surveyed the sexual satisfaction of 800 women between the ages of 18 and 50. Women who drank two glasses of wine a day scored 27.3 out of a possible 36 points on the Female Sexual Function Index, which rates such factors as sexual arousal, orgasm, satisfaction and pain. Women who drank less than two glasses a day scored an average of 25.9 points, while non-drinkers averaged 24.4 points. The study also excluded results from women who drank over two glasses a day, so as to avoid confounding the results with the effects of drunkenness.
Obviously a study like this by no means establishes scientific fact, but it does suggest that women who drink moderate amounts of red wine are more likely to be satisfied with their sex life—and that's good enough for this woman. V vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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