The Society of Wine Educators have published a second edition
of In Vino Sanitas written by Harvey Finkel M.D. As a regular
contributor to the AIM Quarterly Digest Dr Finkels work in communicating
the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption is well known
to our readers.
The health giving properties of wine have been known for centuries,
Dr. Finkels well argued review of the scientific and medical
evidence supporting moderation is set out in a clear, easily read
format, admirable for the way in which he reduces complex data
into easily understandable text.
The original work was published in 1998 and in the preface to
the new edition, Dr. Finkel endorses most of his original research
which has stood the test of time five years later. "My recent
careful rereading of the 1998 edition of In Vino Sanitas? revealed,
somewhat to my surprise, that it remains wholly valid. The Society
of Wine Educators has exhausted its supply, and is, therefore,
issuing a second printing to accommodate new members. We are taking
this opportunity to correct a handful of typographical errors
and to briefly make note below of items of important progress
The following are brief extracts from the book: The cardiovascular
benefits of moderate drinking continue as the focus of an increasing
flood of research supporting the view that both the alcohol and
the antioxidants of wine enhance the health of the heart and blood
vessels and are thereby associated with substantial reductions
of disability and death. As we learn more of the intimate life
of arterial blood vessels, we find, as predicted, that these vital
conduits are benefited throughout the body, not only in the heart.
Abstention and, especially, heavy drinking both may be viewed
as health risks.
Understanding of the roles of wines antioxidants - resveratrol,
quercetin, the catechins, and others - is incomplete and evolving.
There are intriguing hints that, in addition to their salutary
effects in cardiovascular health, they may combat aging, degenerative
diseases, including dementia, and cancer, likely, in part, by
protecting against oxidative damage by highly reactive compounds,
such as acetaldehyde. Polyphenols derived from grape skins, more
potent in wine than in grape juice, have just been reported to
inhibit endothelin-1, thought to be a key factor in the genesis
of coronary disease. (Time will tell).
The safety and benefits of consumption by diabetics has been demonstrated,
as long as they eat as well as drink moderately.
Wine, especially, is associated with reduced risk of dangerous
gastro-intestinal infections by E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella,
Vibrio cholerae, and Helicobacter pylori. The last bacterium casually
contributes to development of chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer,
and stomach cancer, and has come under suspicion as an agent provocateur
in the genesis of atherosclerosis.
It is astonishing that the modest consumption of alcohol has been
reported to enhance liver health - in rats, and tantalizing that
obesity leads to endogenous intestinal alcohol production and,
in turn, liver injury - in mice.
Like wine, whose infinite variety precludes ennui, science never
stands still. It always progresses, furthering and correcting.
Watch for the ensuing chapters.
Harvey Finkel MD is a clinical professor of medicine (haematology/oncology}
at the Boston University Medical CenterCopies of In Vino Sanitas?
are available from Bonnie Fedchock, Executive Director , Society
of Wine Educators 1200 G Street NW, Suite 360 Washington DC 20005
Tel: 202-347-5677 Fax: 202-347-5667 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org