Wine has many benefits to your heart and skin

February 10, 2010 5:31:20 PM PST
Are you interested in wine, looking young or living longer? We found Houston scientists who have the latest on wine and what it can do for your body. The chemicals in wine just sound important.

"Polyphenols, a lot of a chemicals called polycyanidin, which is also thought to be a very potent antioxidant, and resveratrol," said Dr. Maximilian Buja of the University of Texas-Houston Medical School.

That's why you've heard that wine is good for your heart and blood vessels.

"That can have all kinds of beneficial effects on the heart, keeping blood pressure under control, perfusion of the brain," said Dr. Buja.

But here's something you haven't heard.

"Drinking a moderate amount of red wine may very well help with both aging and prevention of skin cancer," said Dr. John Wolf, Baylor dermatologist.

How? Well it's those same chemicals again.

"Resveratrol protects the skin from ultraviolet light and ultraviolet light as you know is the most common cause of both aging the skin and skin cancer," said Dr. Wolf.

Resveratrol in wine may help protect the brain, too, by prolonging the life of brain cells because it starts a process.

"That can do all kinds of beneficial things including prolonging life in certain lab animals," said Dr. Michael Friedlander, Baylor neuroscientist.

Now it's not like you can drink two glasses of wine and live longer - just yet.

"You literally would have to ingest hundreds of glasses of red wine to get enough of that chemical to get the effect seen in the lab," said Dr. Friedlander.

But think of the possibilities. As far as the chemicals in wine, one that's hard to believe is that scientists say even the alcohol is beneficial. And wine can raise your HDL, or good cholesterol, as much as running a marathon.

"You could get your HDL up to almost the same level by moderate alcohol consumption. And you can tell from looking at me, I've chosen the latter," said Dr. Buja.

Dr. Wolf said, "I would recommend two glasses of red wine a day, preferably pinot noir, for men, one glass for women, plus wearing sunscreen."

To your health now has a whole new meaning.