The Truth About Red Wine and Heart Disease?

Written by Nicholas Webb

Red Wine, Heart Disease, Hungry Sharks and Knights in Shining Armor

What is so special about wine? What is it that makes it potentially more protective against coronary heart disease, and perhaps other diseases, that other forms of alcohol?

In recent years, scientists have concluded without doubt that many human diseases such as heart disease, cancer andrepparttar aging process is caused or stimulated by a ravenous group of chemicals called free radicals. These highly charged little villains prowlrepparttar 147234 body and attack healthy cell membranes through a process that is called oxidation. In this scenario, there is however a knight in shining armor that jumps torepparttar 147235 rescue and purges these ever hungry little killers. The name of our crusader is antioxidants. Without getting too technical,repparttar 147236 oxidation process in our bodies is crucial for health, without it, for instance, we would not be able to extract energy from our food. But if there are too many free radicals in our bodies this can be harmful.

Our body has its own defenses against free radicals, inrepparttar 147237 form of enzymes that are able to turnrepparttar 147238 hungry little sharks into harmless water. However, sometimes our body’s natural defense mechanisms can’t cope. Other times, external events can cause huge increases of free radicals within our bodies, such as x-rays, cigarette smoke and exposure to toxic substances. At times, this surge of free radicals can swamp our defenses and illnesses such as radiation sickness may take place.

So what does all this have to do with heart disease?

Low density lipoproteins, commonly know as “bad” LDL, can penetrate and gather againstrepparttar 147239 inner walls of our arteries, under certain conditions, forming fatty streaks and plaque. Taken alone, LDL particles aren’t so dangerous it seems, however, when attacked by free radicals they turn into dangerous and somewhat aggressive cells, capable of actually penetrating and harmingrepparttar 147240 smooth inner walls of our arteries. This process is called oxidation. Oxidized LDL is known to berepparttar 147241 culprit in stimulating atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke.

Antioxidants, asrepparttar 147242 name suggests (anti-oxidants) can help stoprepparttar 147243 oxidation process, which arerepparttar 147244 results of free radicals doing their stuff. Most antioxidant research has been carried out on vitamins (A, E, beta carotene) but quite a lot of work has also been done onrepparttar 147245 healthy benefits of red wine. While most research on red wine has been done in relation to coronary heart disease, it seems thatrepparttar 147246 benefits of wine don’t stop there.

Red wine and Coronary Heart Disease

Red wine contains a wide range of flavanoids; these arerepparttar 147247 chemicals that giverepparttar 147248 wine its particular taste and character, making one different from another. Many of these flavanoids act like antioxidants. Perhapsrepparttar 147249 forerunner of wine research was carried out by a certain Serge Renaud, who discoveredrepparttar 147250 French Paradox, which suggested that wine wasrepparttar 147251 decisive factor in protectingrepparttar 147252 people in southern France from their very high fat diets and ultimately coronary heart disease. Even if these people do eat large quantities of high fat cheese, pâté, and salami they have some ofrepparttar 147253 lowest rates of heart disease inrepparttar 147254 world.

The diet / cancer link

Written by Simon Mitchell

Attitudes torepparttar link between diet and cancer are changing fast. The World Cancer Research Fund was founded specifically to fund and sponsor education and research intorepparttar 147233 diet-cancer link. There is mounting evidence thatrepparttar 147234 high fat intake in a typical Western diet, along withrepparttar 147235 low intake of nutritious foods such as vegetables, fruits and wholegrains, may be responsible for up to 35% of cancers.

The World Cancer Research Fund isrepparttar 147236 only major national charity concerned withrepparttar 147237 link between cancer and food, nutrition and lifestyle factors. Their report 'Food, Nutrition andrepparttar 147238 Prevention of Cancer: a global perspective' gives guidelines consistent with those published byrepparttar 147239 World Health Organisation,repparttar 147240 E.U. 'Europe against Cancer' initiative and other authoritative organisations. The idea of an 'anti-cancer diet' promotes prevention by strengtheningrepparttar 147241 immune system directly and has partly led torepparttar 147242 promotion of a 'five a day' campaign for fresh fruit and vegetables.

The intensification of agricultural practices has led to a decline of between 25% to 75% inrepparttar 147243 levels of key mineral nutrients in farmed vegetables overrepparttar 147244 last 60 years. There has also been a rise in farmed fruit sugar levels, so much so that some 'natural' fruit juices now contain as much sugar as a fizzy drink.

If we can source quality food, our cooking methods often destroyrepparttar 147245 nutritional content. Studies show that fresh, uncooked vegetables strengthenrepparttar 147246 immune system and increase resistance to many diseases. Cabbage placed in cold water and boiled loses about 75% of its vitamin C content. Similarly fresh peas cooked for only five minutes lose 20-40% of their Thiamine content and 30-40% of their vitamin C. About 50% of vitamin E is destroyed by frying or baking food.

Tests in Spain recently measuredrepparttar 147247 levels of flavonoids (a kind of antioxidant) left in fresh broccoli after it was cooked. The results show large differences in flavonoid content according to howrepparttar 147248 broccoli was prepared. The cooking methods were:

· boiling - 66% loss · pressure-cooking - 53% loss of major antioxidant · steaming - minimal loss of antioxidants · microwaving - 97% loss of flavonoids

Scientists in Finland found that blanching and deep-freezing vegetables destroyed beneficial compounds. Blanching prior to freezing destroyed up to one-third ofrepparttar 147249 vitamin C content of vegetables and more was lost in storage. The healing properties of uncooked foods are being increasingly recognised in natural cancer therapies.

The more we let food industries create what we eatrepparttar 147250 more likely we are to be at risk from diet related problems. In effectrepparttar 147251 commercial interests of food manufacturers are systematically robbing unwary shoppers of health, and eventually life. The more control and information we have in sourcing pure foodstuffs,repparttar 147252 less at risk we are from dis-ease for nutritional reasons. One ofrepparttar 147253 first steps in finding a healthy diet is changing how and where we shop and sourcing foods we can trust. The supermarkets give us thousands of choices but few options. Try to find for example, one ofrepparttar 147254 many varieties of biscuits available that do not contain 'hydrogenated vegetable oil'.

Too much protein in a diet is also harmful to health and can promote cancer. Meat and sugar-rich diets are common inrepparttar 147255 West. These are often overcooked or over processed. When cooked or processed foods are eaten our white blood cells (leukocytes) rush torepparttar 147256 intestine to help with digestion. As a result other parts ofrepparttar 147257 body may be left undefended from attack by germs and viruses after a heavily synthetic meal.

Biological enhancement of crops, growth hormones in milk and meat, mercury in our mouths, colorants and carcinogens in food are commonplace. The foot and mouth epidemic, B.S.E. in sheep and cattle, nuclear radiation andrepparttar 147258 de-naturalisation of our food are examples of how common sense is abandoned to profit. The 'Precautionary Principle' is too often being overlooked inrepparttar 147259 rush of science.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use