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New study shows wine good for the heart only if you exercise

Red and white wines.
Red and white wines.
André Karwath This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Both red and white wine reduce a person’s chances of having cardiovascular disease if the person engages in regular exercise. These are the conclusions of the first study to compare the effects of both red wine and white wine on the development of atherosclerosis in people with mild or moderate risk of cardiovascular disease. The study called In Vino Veritas was conducted by Professor Milos Taborsky from the Czech Republic and presented at the Aug. 31, 2014, session of the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Drinking red or white wine alone had no significant effect on “good” cholesterol (HDL) after a year of moderate consumption of wine. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol decreased in the participants that consumed red and white wine. Total cholesterol was slightly lower in the participants that consumed red wine. The participants that exercised at least twice a week had higher HDL. Higher HDL is considered to be the most effective protection against cardiovascular disease.

The study included 146 people with mild to moderate risk of cardiovascular disease. The participants were randomized into groups that drank either Pinot Noir or Chardonnay-Pinot made from grapes grown in the Czech Republic. All participants were restricted to a moderate consumption of wine as dictated by the World Health Organization. WHO defines moderate consumption as 0.2 liters for women and 0.3 liters for men for a maximum of five days each week. The participants also recorded the drugs they took, any other alcohol consumed, and did not alter their normal diet.

The study is the first to show that wine alone has a minimal effect on cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health. Wine has been touted as a preventative for heart disease for 25 years. One has to wonder how much of the research was funded by wine companies.