By: Larry Studt, M.D., Occupational Health & Medicine Program, Sacred Heart and St. Joseph Hospitals
If you enjoy a good glass of Merlot with your evening meal, you probably welcome the news stories that say a glass of wine at night is good for your heart. But is this truth or fiction? There really isn't a clear cut answer. Research has suggested red wine has more heart-healthy benefits than other types of alcohol due to certain substances in red wine called antioxidants and resveratrol. But you really can't say red wine is the magic bullet to maintaining good heart health.
Moderate amounts of wine may increase "good" and reduce "bad" levels of cholesterol, prevent blood clots, and prevent damage to blood vessels. But when pouring that glass of vino, remember moderation is essential because too much alcohol can have harmful effects on your body. Four ounces of wine is equivalent to one serving. Men will benefit from one to two servings per day; women, one serving per day. However, I don't recommend you start drinking alcohol just to prevent heart disease. You'd be much better off eating healthy and getting enough exercise, rather than drink a glass of wine, to ensure a healthy heart.
To learn more, watch the "Ask the Doc" video!