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Another study, statistical rather than practical, by a Professor Grey of University of Bern in Switzerland focused on low, medium and high coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality figures of World Health Organization.
What did he find? Well from among high mortality areas were Finland and Scotland, middle areas included Ireland, and low CHD areas included Spain, Italy and France. He then compared heart attack rates with antioxidant levels in blood samples taken from men living in those areas.
What he found was very interesting, results showed that high antioxidant levels, in particular vitamin E, coincided with low death rates of heart disease. Moreover, his results showed that vitamin E levels were 94% more accurate in predicting CHD rates than were cholesterol levels or blood pressure figures! Apart from diet, high CHD regions drink very little, if any wine, whereas low regions traditionally accompany their meals most days with wine.
It certainly seems strange that two much studied cities; Glasgow in Scotland and Toulouse in France show many similarities and yet many differences. The inhabitants of both cities eat tremendous amounts of high fat foods, traditionally take little exercise and drink alcohol. The surprising difference is that while people of Glasgow have one of highest rates of CHD in world, fortunate people of Toulouse have one of lowest. Traditionally beer and spirits are preferred drinks in Glasgow, while folks in Toulouse drink red wine.
It has also been suggested that drinking in moderation together with meals is beneficial, while binge drinking at bars in evening is harmful. It seems southern Europeans don’t drink for alcohol buzz, but just as a pleasant accompaniment to their meals.
At first large heart institutions such as American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association ignored both antioxidants and frowned upon wine. While it is clear that it could be potentially dangerous for a physician to recommend his patients start drinking alcohol, it is also strange that they pretended for so many years to ignore evidence. Well, now even if they don’t promote taking of vitamin pills; antioxidants and free radicals are now recognized.
However, according to AHA “There is no scientific proof that drinking wine or any other alcoholic beverage can replace conventional measures ... No direct comparison trials have been done to determine specific effect of wine or other alcohol on risk of developing heart disease or stroke.” Just ask yourself who would pay for such studies. Clinical Trials have purpose of showing one thing to be better than another, or whether a certain substance is beneficial to health. The costs of clinical trials is so high that only pharmaceutical industry have financial clout to invest in them – invest is correct word. What a surprise.
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