Wine: A Scientific Exploration
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Interest in wine science has grown enormously over the last two decades as the health benefits of moderate wine consumption have become firmly established in preventing heart disease, stroke, cancer and dementia. The growth of molecular biology has allowed proper investigation of grapevine identity and lineage and led to improvements in the winemaking process.
This book explores the history and appreciation of wine, its early role as a medicine and modern evidence on how and why wine protects against disease. It also addresses genetic modification of the grapevine, long recognized as a natural process, and of the microbes involved in the making of wine. Pharmacologists, biochemists, epidemiologists, physicians, and public health officials will find this book not only a wealth of data, but also a fascinating read.
Gerontology Department of Medicine Howard University Hospital and College of Medicine Washington DC USA Martin E. Weisse Department of Pediatrics West Virginia University School of Medicine Morgantown WV 26506 USA Preface As we both wind down into the second half (we hope) of our lives, we take some consolation in wine. We like wine: we enjoy its spectrum of tastes, its buoyant effect on our state of mind, its mythology. Not that we think of ourselves, for a moment, as wine snobs – but we do
in tannin are antidiarrhoeic. Thus, in terse phrases, the mechanisms for acceleration and retardation of bowel movement and urinary flow and for hydration and dehydration of the body in relation to the ingestion of grape extractives, acids, tannin and alcohol were established for the ensuing centuries. (Lucia 1963, pp. 37–9) Hippocrates also had the following to say about wine as a medicine: ‘Wine is fit for Man in a wonderful way provided that it is taken with good sense by the sick as well as
an increasing number of shipwrecks off the southern French coast seem to be filled with Roman amphorae. Once offloaded at Massilia and Narbo (Narbonne), the wine was taken inland by road or river. At two places, one outside Toulouse and the other at Chalonsur-Saône, large quantities of discarded Italian amphorae fragments have been found. It is suggested that these were major transhipment points and that the wine was transferred from pottery amphorae to wooden barrels for the onward journey by
alcohol alone. Throughout this chapter, we will be confronted with the issue of the pattern of drinking. In general, the vast majority of studies to date have relied on some indicator of ‘average’ consumption (mean intake or number of drinks per day or week, etc.). This is, however, a crude measure of drinking. Two people consuming the same amount, say 140 g of alcohol per week, may drink very differently. One can drink 20 g of alcohol each day (regular or sustained drinking), while the second
drinking differs by other factors, such as diet or additional risk factors (i.e. whether alcohol interacts with other variables). Alcohol and all-cause mortality Perhaps the most reliable information on the effects of alcohol came from studies on mortality. For all-cause mortality, virtually all prospective studies have found a U-shaped or J-shaped association with alcohol consumption (Marmot 1984; Marmot and Brunner 1991; Royal College of Physicians Wine and heart disease: a statistical