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In Italy, the culture of wine has always been rooted. Italy dominates wine exports around the world, with about 78 DOCG wines; 408 PDO wines and about 118 IGPs for a total of 526 awards (Source Italian Wines Federation). Leadership and numbers that could make one think (to those who know little about Italian culture), of a country where wine consumption is immoderate. Paradoxically, it is exactly the opposite. Wine is much loved by Italians but it is moderation that makes a difference.
Living in a wine producing country means growing up with the stories of peoples and territories that revolve around vineyards and, consequently, wine.
Wine has a historical, cultural and family value for those who produce it (as well as economic, of course). Values handed down from generation to generation. Such an important heritage, to embrace different territories, defended by countries with an important winemaking tradition. For this, it is important to state that wine is a positive drink for our well-being only if consumed in moderation.
The study Wine and health: A review of its benefits to human health, by D.A. Wurz, in recalling that the medicinal use of wine was already known in the ancient Greeks, at the time of Hippocrates (who reported the therapeutic properties of wine “drink used as a food supplement in cachexia, diuretic, purifying, antipyretic, antiseptic…”), underlines:”The richness of the elements that compose it make it a true liquid food with incomparable virtues”.
The research also reiterated that: “the main condition for wine to bring benefits to health is that it is taken in moderation and together with meals , absorption of nutrients that are contained in food”.
The investigation confirms the efficacy of resveratrol: “In the prevention of heart disease associated with the consumption of red wine, as well as in the inhibition of platelet aggregation, in the alteration of eicosanoid synthesis and in the modulation of lipid and lipoprotein metabolism”. Finally, scientists underlines that: “like any alcoholic drink, wine also causes problems, if ingested, beyond the limits”.
A multidisciplinary scientific research, published in “Scientific Report“, in 2018, reaffirms what is already known about excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, focusing, however, also on the studies that confirm the benefits of wine, taken in moderate doses: “The reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as well as a number of cancers and an increase in cerebral blood flow are among the health benefits attributed to low alcohol consumption. “
An even more recent study, from 2019, Red Wine Consumption and Cardiovascular Health, published in 2019 in the scientific journal “Molecules”, focused, in particular, on the relationship between red wine and cardiovascular health, underlining that: “The benefits deriving from a moderate consumption of alcohol have been widely supported by the scientific literature and, in this line, the intake of red wine has been correlated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) ”.
Finally, in the same magazine (“Molecules”), one of the most recent studies, dated September 2021, Wine, Polyphenols, and Mediterranean Diets. What Else Is There to Say? focuses on the benefits of moderate wine consumption, as part of a healthy and varied diet, such as, for example, the Mediterranean Diet. The research shows that the benefits of wine are more evident in countries where moderate wine consumption is accompanied by eating habits of centuries-old tradition, with varieties of fruit, vegetables, legumes, olive oil: “The Mediterranean diet does not constitute a nutritional model narrow and unique but, rather, it is a compendium of different eating habits, traditionally followed by the countries of the Mediterranean basin.
Despite their heterogeneity, some common patterns are observed in these countries, namely a high consumption of plant products such as fruit, vegetables, legumes and nuts, as well as cereals; a moderate intake of dairy products, fish, poultry and eggs as main protein sources, with small amounts of red and processed meat; the use of olive oil as the main source of fat and water as a favorite drink. Furthermore, the diet is characterized by infusions and optional moderate quantities of wine with meals, and by a preference for seasonal, fresh and locally sourced products”.
The results of the study The evaluation of the antidiabetic effects of red wine polyphenols with the view of in silico prediction methods, published in April 2021 in the scientific journal “Food Bioscience” highlighted that: “polyphenols in red wine could bring about improvements in metabolism glucose (…) and could be protective against complications related to type 2 diabetes.
In the middle lies virtue, Latins said: therefore, let’s also enjoy the pleasures of the table and a good glass of wine, a source of well-being for the mood too, without forgetting that excesses, of any nature, are to be always avoided.