Wine.Its Role In Medicine And Health.


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  • From the early times to the 18 th Century, wine enjoyed a central role. In the days before proper sanitation, wine was regarded as much healthier drink than water, because of the alcohol and acid it is able to kill off almost all bacteria that is harmful to man (Robinson, 1994).
  • In more recent times, like any form of alcohol consumption, wine has been targeted by some health campaigners and warning labels have proliferated wine labels. However there have also been some positive outcomes since the late 1980’s on the health benefits of moderate consumption particularly of red wine reducing the risk of heart disease. There have also been other claims for moderate wine consumption and this will be outlined in the following discussion.
  • Prescriptions have also been found for wine based medicines.
  • The Greek Hippocrates (c 450 BC) recommended the use of wine as a disinfectant, a medicine and a vechile for other drugs as part of a healthy diet ( Jancis Robinson, 1994). He experimented with different wines to see which were the most appropriate, from lethargy or diarrhoea to easing difficult child birth (Jancis Robinson, 1994).
  • He learned that wine was the most effective means of disinfecting wounds. He was appointed imperial physician which involved tasting the emperor’s wine and selecting the best and most healthy (Jancis Robinson, 1994).
  • Arab doctors recognized the importance of wine in healing, but due to the prohibition of alcohol in Islam found it understandably difficult. They studied medicine from Greek sources then translated it back slightly amended for the western world. The works of Galen reached medieval Europe the great medical school of Salerno in Italy, where they were translated from Arabic to Latin and this is where the notion wine as an essential part of a healthy diet gained ground (Robinsons, 1994).
  • The health benefits of wine, in modern times, are acknowledged to be minimal and in some cases harmful. However there is some evidence that red wine drinkers may have a reduced risk of Cardiovascular heart disease (CVD). Population studies have indicated that consumers of wine have a reduced risk of CVD (Stockley, 2006).
  • It is thought that the phenolic compounds in wine act synergistically within the human body (Stockley, 2003). Moderate wine drinking can have social as well as coronary aspects and some research suggests it can be appropriaate in the management of stress as long as the intake is monitored to ensure the benefits exceed the risk (Robinson, 1994).
  • One of the main ways the body ages or degenerates is by oxidation, the same process that causes rusting. That is why there is great interest in antioxidants as they retard and slow down the deterioration by oxidation.
  • Heart disease scientists in Scotland and Singapore have found that resveratrol prevents the body from creating two different molecules knowen to trigger inflamation. Gerald Weissmann, M.D., editor-in Chief of the FASEB Journal states “The therapeutic potential of red wine has been bottled up for thousands of years, and now scientists have uncorked its secrets, they find that studies of how resveratrol works can lead to new treatments for life threatening inflammation” (
  • During fermentation with maceration increased skin contact and enrichment with seeds all increases the concentration of resveratrol in wine and the concentration is decreased by filtering the wine (Stockley, 2006).
  • Resveratrol is a non flavournoid stilbene phenolic compound and the average concentrations of this phenol are far greater in red wine.
  • Wine.Its Role In Medicine And Health.

    1. 2. <ul><li>“ Whether wine is a nourishing drink, a medicine or a poison is a matter of dosage”  </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul>
    2. 3. <ul><li>Disinfectant and roles in sanitation </li></ul><ul><li>Substitute for water – it was safe to drink </li></ul>
    3. 4. <ul><li>Health concerns negative </li></ul><ul><li>Health Concerns positive </li></ul>
    4. 5. (Picture from hyttp://stock.xchng)
    5. 6. <ul><li>The earliest practioners of medicine were magicians and priests who used wine for healing and religious purposes. </li></ul>
    6. 7. <ul><li>Greek Hippocrates (c 450 BC) recommended the use of wine for healing and religious purposes. </li></ul>
    7. 8. <ul><li>The most famous physician of Ancient Rome was Galen whose medical experience was formed treating the gladiators in Asia Minor. </li></ul>(Picture from hyttp://stock.xchng)
    8. 9. <ul><li>Jewish civilization applauded wine for its medicinal purposes </li></ul><ul><li>“ Wine is foremost of all medicines: whenever wine is lacking medicines become necessary” </li></ul>
    9. 10. <ul><li>Arab doctors – prohibition – works of Galen - translated Arabic to Latin </li></ul><ul><li>= </li></ul><ul><li>Notion - wine is an essential part of a healthy diet (Robinson, 1994) </li></ul>
    10. 11. <ul><li>Ardaldus de Villanova </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote the first book on wine in the 14 th Century it included: </li></ul><ul><li>Remedies for curing human ailments </li></ul><ul><li>Remedies for ‘sick’ wines </li></ul>
    11. 12. <ul><li>Heironymus Brunschwig </li></ul><ul><li>15 th century wrote: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Aqua vitae (water of life) is commonly called the mistress of all medicines’ and warned ‘it is to be drank with reason and measure’ (Robinson, 1994) </li></ul>
    12. 13. (Picture by Tree Faerie, from hyttp://stock.xchng)
    13. 14. <ul><li>Cardiovascular heart disease (CVD) </li></ul><ul><li>Cancer </li></ul><ul><li>Dementia </li></ul><ul><li>Diabetes </li></ul><ul><li>Macular degeneration (blindness common in 65 years and over) </li></ul><ul><li>Arthritis </li></ul><ul><li>Osteoporosis </li></ul><ul><li>Stress management </li></ul>
    14. 15. <ul><li>Overindulgence - hangovers, migraine, alcoholism </li></ul><ul><li>Drinking during pregnancy causing facial and learning difficulties for the new born child </li></ul>
    15. 16. (Picture by Chamanit, from hyttp://stock.xchng)
    16. 17. <ul><li>Moderate consumption </li></ul><ul><li>2 – 4 glasses per day, British medical authorities suggest 21 alcohol units per week for men and 14 for women </li></ul>
    17. 18. <ul><li>The human body degenerates by oxidation </li></ul>(Picture by Runrunrun, from hyttp://stock.xchng)
    18. 19. <ul><li>Antioxidants retard and slow down deterioration </li></ul>(Picture by Cierpki, from hyttp://stock.xchng)
    19. 20. <ul><li>Vitamin E and D reduce oxidation by 20% </li></ul><ul><li>Resveratrol can reduce oxidation by 100% </li></ul>
    20. 21. <ul><li>one of 10 classes of Polyphenols found in wine </li></ul><ul><li>found in the skins and seeds of grape berries </li></ul><ul><li>found in larger quantities in red varieties </li></ul>
    21. 22. Red wine 7mg/L Rose 2mg/L White wine 0.5mg/L
    22. 23. <ul><li>Resveratrol is produced in response to stress or pressure from fungi such as Botrytis ciniera , Downy or powdery mildew, UV light or in response to injury </li></ul>
    23. 24. <ul><li>Since ancient times Doctors and the medical profession have had a large influence not just as consumers and producers but also in promoting or damaging the commercial potential of certain wines this is likely to continue. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Past research has been an integral part of wines progress in this area. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    24. 25. <ul><li>The wine industry must continue further its research into the health benefits and potential health risks for wine drinkers </li></ul><ul><li>To reiterate MODERATION to the consumer as the best possible form of medicine for health reasons </li></ul><ul><li>To educate the consumers of benefits and the risks of wine consumption </li></ul>
    25. 26. <ul><li>“ Whether wine is a nourishing drink, a medicine or a poison is a matter of dosage”  </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul>(Picture by Stuart.SJB, from hyttp://stock.xchng)
    26. 27. <ul><li>REFERENCES </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Diaz-Rubio, M. and Saura-Calixto. (2006) Dietary Fiber in Wine. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture. Vol: 57 No:1:69-72. </li></ul><ul><li>Mauromoustakos, A., Morris, J. and Threlfall, R. (1999) Effect of Variety, Ultraviolet light Exposure, and enological Methods on the Trans – resveratrol level of wine. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture. Vol: 50 No:1:57-64. </li></ul><ul><li>Robinson, J. (1996) Jancis Robinson's Wine Course . New York: Abbeville Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Robinson, J. (1994) The Oxford Companion to Wine. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Stockley, C. (2006) Could Moderate Wine Consumption Provide Significant Health Benefits? Australian New New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker. November 2006 No. 514:83-86. </li></ul><ul><li>Stockley, C. (2003) A Component of wine called Resveratrol. Australian New New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker. October 2003 No. 477:114-117. </li></ul><ul><li>Stockley, C. (2003) The Importance of diet in conjunction with wine consumption. Australian New New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker. October 2003 No. 477:114-117. </li></ul><ul><li>Wine in Context: Nutrition, Physiology, Policy (1996). Paper presented at the Proceedings of the Symposium on Wine Health, Reno, Nevada. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Wine in Ancient Greece and Rome. (2009). Retrieved July 22, 2009, from </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Wine Was Always Good For You Now It May Be Even Better. (2009). Retrieved August 2 , 2009, from </li></ul>