History certainly isn’t shocked by the notion that wine is good for the heart. Indeed, Mesopotamian paintings thousands of years old have been known to revere the longevity and fecundity of wine drinking communities in the ancient Fertile Crescent. However, what is shocking is the way today’s science is validating the healing aspects of a seven thousand year-old love affair between the heart and wine. A Swedish study published in the British medical journal Heart observed on February 15th, 2005 that drinking wine can improve the health of women who have heart problems.
The study was undertaken in an attempt to further understand the mysterious qualities in wine that promote strong and sustainable cardiovascular functioning. What the Swedish team uncovered was that wine helps increase heart rate variability. This refers to the change in intervals between heartbeats. The higher the heart rate variability, the less of a chance there is of a heart attack occurring. Women who consumed a moderate amount of wine each day (one to two glasses) had a noticeable increase in their heart rate variability while women who consumed no alcohol had the least amount of increase.
This adds to the known benefits of wine, particularly red wine, which include thinning the blood and reducing heart attacks. It is also worth noting that the benefits uncovered by the Swedish team did not correlate with beer or spirits. It doesn’t seem to be alcohol that is the important factor, but the life-giving nutrients buried within the grapes that make wine.
Doctor’s throughout the world have been encouraging the wine lifestyle for the last ten years or so as new clinical studies continue to support the regular and moderate consumption of the drink. A lifestyle that takes advantage of the health benefits of wine is proving to be a particularly good fit for women.