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Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2012 Jan 1;4:1505-12.

Health benefits of wine and alcohol from neuroprotection to heart health.

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Herbal and Indian Medicine Research Laboratory, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai-600116, India.


Controversy is common during efforts to define the role of nutrition in health, but few modern reflections of such controversy are as vivid as the debate over wine. There exists no query that chronic alcohol abuse, a leading worldwide problem, causes neuronal dysfunction and brain damage. However, various epidemiologic studies in recent years have indicated that in comparisons with abstainers or never drinkers, light/moderate alcohol/wine consumers have lower risks of age-dependent cognitive decline and/or dementia, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) Neurodegenerative diseases such as AD and Parkinson's (PD) diseases are defined by a progressive neuronal dysfunction and an ensuing behavioral dysfunction. Epidemiologic studies from numerous disparate populations reveal that individuals with the habit of daily moderate wine consumption enjoy significant reductions in all-cause and particularly cardiovascular and neurodegenerative mortality when compared with individuals who abstain or who drink alcohol in excess. Apart from the alcohol present in the wine, other trace compounds and polyphenolic compounds such as resveratrol naturally present in wine and grapes also exert neuroprotective and cardioprotective activities.

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