What Happens When You Drink Red Wine Every Night

Oct 15, 2015 12:50 PM EDT | By Denise Valerie Uychiat

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According to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a nightly glass of wine with dinner for some people is just the right amount of alcohol their body need.

Health.com reported that researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel wanted to look at how safe and effective it is for a specific group of people, especially those with well-controlled type-2 diabetes and who had a low risk for alcohol abuse, to drink moderately. The authors found that people with type-2 diabetes are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and have lower levels of heart-protective HDL cholesterol than the general population.

For the study, they chose 224 people who fit the profile, and who didn't drink wine currently. They then assigned them to start drinking one of three things. At dinner, the people in the study were told to drink five ounces of one of the following beverages: mineral water, dry white wine or dry red wine. Under the guidance of dietitians, they also followed a Mediterranean diet without the normal calorie count and continued it for two years.  

Occasionally, the subjects were asked to answer questionnaires and were subjected to follow-ups. The follow up includes, blood draws at the start of the study, six months in the study and at 24 months, so the scientists could look at biomarkers of glycemic control, lipids and liver function.

They found that those who drank red wine had a noticeable increase in their levels of good HDL cholesterol and had a more favorable cholesterol ratio than the group that drank water. They were also the only group to experience a serious drop in components of metabolic syndrome. People who drank either red or white wine were also reported to have better sleep quality than the group that drank water and the researchers found no significant adverse effects with any group.

And because alcohol as many of us know is known as the Goldilocks of the nutrition world, the amount we drink can be a little confusing. Too much can be harmful to your health, raising your blood pressure and your risk of developing several kinds of cancer rises. Too little may stop you back from some of the benefits that people who occasionally drink enjoy, like lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, mortality and type-2 diabetes.

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