Red wine for heart health

accreditation
Glass of red wine
Glass of red wine
iStock

Doctors at a hospital in the west of England prescribed two glasses of red wine a day to their patients with heart problems, forcing the patients to drink it for its antioxidant properties whether they like it or not.

Heart surgeon William McCrea of the Great Western Hospital in Swindon in Wiltshire said the idea had come from examining statistics on heart disease in France.

"They consume twice the amount of fat that we do, they smoke more and they don't do any more exercise, but their deaths from heart attacks are half ours," he said.

McCrea noted, however, that the French were regular moderate drinkers by comparison with the British, who either did not drink or binged.

Cheap plonk better

McCrea said younger and cheaper reds were better, because older wines lost their antioxidants in the barrel. He recommended Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Pinot Noir.

Whites were no good as the healthy chemicals are in the grape skins, which are discarded in making white wine, he said.

Wine also has to be drunk soon after opening, as it loses its antioxidant properties with exposure to the air.

Wine as medicine

But McCrea acknowledged some of his patients were not impressed. "Some of the older patients don't drink it at home, and regard it as medicine," he said.

McCrea made his treatment public as the British Medical Association urged advertisers not to glorify heavy drinking in an attempt to reign in the binge drinking among the young that has become a feature of British urban life.

Read more:
Red wine lover

Red wine blocks fat cell formation

(Sapa-DPA)

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
30% - 9699 votes
No
70% - 23149 votes
Vote