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health (GB)
santé (F)
gezondheid (N)
saúde (PO)
salud (ES)
salute (I)

In human history is the regular consumption of alcohol directly related to cultivated agriculture, when it started 6,000 to 8,000 years ago beer-like To brew drinks from grain. Individual experiences were already made by people, but more or less by chance, when, for example, fruit began to ferment in the first primitive vessels and the resulting alcoholic fluids were consumed. Very soon, these were also used for alleviating or healing purposes, because they recognized various positive effects by chance, but of course could not interpret their cause. This is attested in many ancient scriptures, including in the Bible,

Health - hand with bunch of grapes, heart, wine glasses

Alcohol as a remedy

In the Jewish Talmud (Rabbi Banal): Where there is no wine, you need medicines . At the Greek doctor Hippocrates (460-377 BC), wine played a role in almost all his remedies. Among other things, he prescribed it to cool the fever, as a diuretic, as a fortifying remedy for convalescence, and as a painkiller and sedative. The Romans used the effectiveness of wine as an antibiotic, because in the conquest trains, the soldiers with wine (or vinegar ) mixed water. In some ancient cultures, alcohol consumption was and even intoxication also used as a means of communication. At the exuberant festivals in honor of the wine god Dionysos in ancient Greece, intoxication was thought of as a purifying ceremonial with psychohygienic effects (for more on practices and customs, see drinking culture ).

The Greek philosopher Plutarch (45-125) said: Wine is the most useful among the drinks, the tastiest among the remedies and the most pleasant among the foods . The Greek doctor Galen (129-199) recognized the antiseptic effect of the wine and the French scholar Arnaldus de Villanova (1240-1311) wrote a book about the healing power of wine. The famous mystic and alternative practitioner Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) used wine and vinegar against various diseases.

Many scholars praised the hygienic effect, including the French chemist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895). In medicine until the end of the 19th century, wine was a universal antiseptic that was used to wash out wounds and make water drinkable. Especially in cities, water was hazardous to health due to a lack of sewers and fecal contamination. Next Wine Other products were also used grapevine used as a medicine or remedy, so for example Rebtränen against skin diseases.

positive effects of alcohol consumption

For good reasons, however, alcohol or alcoholic beverages should never be considered or labeled as medicine or medication, despite any actual or perceived beneficial effects. In moderate amounts, alcohol can cause a sedative, spasm- and tension-relieving, pain-relieving, but also anti-inflammatory effect on the central nervous system. It triggers up to a certain amount of well-being, which, however, quickly turns into its opposite with excessive consumption. There has always been a great deal of interest in researching the health effects of regular alcohol consumption on the human organism. In the past, therefore, a number of studies have been carried out. Despite all the differences in detail, there are and there are high similarities regarding positive effects.

The content of the "good" blood fat HDL cholesterol is increased and the content of the "bad" LDL cholesterol is reduced. Certain substances prevent the adhesion of platelets (platelets) in the arteries and thus reduce the risk of vascular congestion and arteriosclerosis. Responsible for it phenols how they special red wines contain. Storing in wooden barrels favors the formation of other phenols, which, so to speak for the Barrique speaks. The phenolic compounds act as a kind of "health police" or as antioxidants. They bind "free radicals" (aggressive, malignant molecules) and render them harmless. Wear particularly positive flavonoids (Dyes), as well glutathione. resveratrol and salicylic acid at. The latter is also included in aspirin and is recommended as a prevention for heart disease. Especially through moderate consumption of red wine, cardiovascular diseases can apparently be prevented.

A study by the University Hospital Ulm in the German state of Baden-Württemberg has shown that a moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer can increase adiponectin levels in the blood. The hormone is produced in the fat cells but correlates inversely with the body fat. This means, the more obese, the less adiponectin. It regulates the sugar and fatty acid metabolism and the hunger sensation together with leptin, insulin and other hormones. The effect of insulin on the fat cells is enhanced and causes anti-inflammatory effects on the blood vessels. Low adiponectin levels are associated with increased cardiovascular risk, while high levels are considered to be cardioprotective.

The German Wine Academy (DWA) provided information on the responsible use of wine as follows: Almost all the scientific data available to date clearly points to the health benefits of moderate wine consumption. This is particularly true of cardiovascular diseases - the overwhelming burden of hard scientific data leaves no room for the greatest skeptic. This biological fact and the fact that cardiovascular disease - primarily heart attack - is the leading cause of death today, almost obliges to point out the protective effect of moderate wine consumption. Always implies that the dangers of abuse are not concealed, this is certainly legitimate.

French paradox

In the 1980s, the "Organization International du Vin" carried out a worldwide scientific study on the relationship between wine consumption and the rate of lethal cardiovascular disease in men between the ages of 55 and 64 years. It turned out that in France far fewer people die of heart disease than in other countries, although here is not far less greasy or "healthier" eaten. However, the French drink far more wine (especially red wine) than other peoples. They are at the top of both wine consumption and life expectancy. The extremely health-conscious Americans are in second place after death in Finland.

Of course, there was also criticism of this study: For what good would it be not to suffer from cardiovascular disease, but to die prematurely from the alcohol consumption of cirrhosis . In any case, in 1991, American TV was informed about the results published as "French paradox" ( French paradox ) reported phenomenon. This caused red wine consumption to skyrocket overnight in the US by 40%. Based on these findings, the pharmaceutical industry scented a large business with powder extracts of red wine, which contain all positive phenols, but no alcohol. Soon after, there were fruity lozenges of red wine powder with all the precious substances like a red wine.

In the mid-1990s, the US government announced in its nutritional guidelines that alcohol, especially wine, enjoys moderation in health. Small amounts regularly consumed cut the risk of early death from infarction or other diseases by half. And surprisingly, in 1996, the American College of Cardiology put alcohol abstinence (sic) on the list of risk factors in cardiovascular disease. This is astounding for a country that has always had an ambivalent relationship with alcohol and stimulants. An example is the prohibition 1920 to 1933, where the consumption of alcohol was demonized in almost inquisitorial fashion, but after more than a dozen years of suffering it had to be acknowledged that alcohol bans do not bring the desired success.

However, the link between moderate wine and alcohol consumption and a reduction in heart attack risk was soon put into perspective by a medical examination at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Obviously, a positive result depends on whether the consumed alcohol is degraded quickly or slowly. People with rapid oxidation had a 36% lower risk of heart disease than pure abstainers. But those with a slow degradation even reached 86%. In America, at least 15 to 17% of the white population is a slow group.


A study published in 2015 by a research team at University College London called into question all previous analyzes and the conclusions drawn from them. In this study, 18,000 elderly Englishmen were studied over a ten-year period. The basic message was that all previous analyzes would have been unclean. In the group of teetotalers, one did not exclude all the dry alcoholics. However, these would have a lower life expectancy because of the late effects and would therefore increase the mortality rate among the non-drinkers (to which they do not belong) compared to the moderate drinkers. Moreover, no single study has so far proven beyond any doubt that alcohol is actually responsible for longer life expectancy. It could be that moderate drinkers would eat healthier than the abstainers. Similar results came in 2016 a Canadian team. Even those people who have to live abstinent because of illness have not been excluded.

The sobering conclusion for all wine lovers: Alcohol (by itself) or regular consumption of alcohol exerts a negative effect on the human organism and to a lesser extent even in small quantities. Regarding the question of whether certain substances contained in wine such resveratrol Only in combination with alcohol or alone in the form of pills, for example, to develop their positive effects will most likely be secondary. The positive effects described above, especially in red wine consumption are at least canceled out by the alcohol. As a rule, abstainers therefore live healthier lives. Nevertheless, one should be a joyous one Weingenuss Do not let it spoil you with moderation and understanding, because joy of life has a positive influence on body and mind.

acceptable levels of alcohol

A regular consumption of alcohol should only be done in a generally good state of health. Further aspects to be considered regarding compatibility are gender, type of person (Asians, for example, tolerate less alcohol - see below) ADH ), regularly taking medication, body weight, body fat, alcohol type, drinking speed (which amount in which period) and environmental conditions (air temperature). Regular consumption of alcohol in too large quantities may increase allergies, various health damage to addiction - that is alcoholism - to lead.

During pregnancy and lactation, alcohol should be avoided altogether because of the risks to the child. In overweight individuals, limited consumption is advisable because of its high energy content (95% is converted to energy). People with pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation) or liver damage (fatty liver) as well as former alcoholics must completely abstain from alcohol in order to avoid a risk of relapse.

The key question is what quantities of alcohol are acceptable for health or presumably (!) Not harmful to health. The most varied values ​​are given, the bandwidth is between 20 and 60 grams per day (in case of doubt, the lower limit is more likely). The World Health Organization (WHO) published the following in 2002: daily 20 grams of pure alcohol in women and 40 grams in men are the upper limit for (presumably) non-harmful alcohol consumption.

This equates to slightly more than three-eighths (exactly 0.42 l) for men and just under two-eighths (exactly 0.21 l) for women with 12% vol alcohol content, In women, the amount is lower because the liver is also busy with degradation of female sex hormones. When estrogens become less during menopause, more alcohol is tolerated. Other reasons include lower body weight and higher body fat. According to the DGE (German Nutrition Society), however, the tolerable amounts are much lower, namely only a maximum of 20 grams per day for the man and 10 grams for the woman - that is exactly half.

As a conclusion, a golden rule for the recovery of the body for those who regularly consume alcohol: a day of the week, a week a month and a month a year without alcohol. Various in wines and spirits contained substances are harmful from certain quantities and therefore partly defined with limit values. For example acetaldehyde. acetic acid. ethyl carbamate. histamine. methanol. Ochratoxin A and sulphurous acid (See a complete list below ADI = acceptable daily intake).

wine law matters

According to Wine labeling regulations the EU is for drinks over 1.2% vol alcohol content on the health label and prohibited in advertising. Terms like Health wine. sick wine. diabetics wine. Still wine among other things, are not allowed to associations "good for the sick, diabetics or nursing mothers" u. Ä. To avoid. This also applies to attributes "wholesome" or similar. The difference between modest Weingenuss and alcohol abuse describes an essay by the poet Peter Rosegger (1843-1918).

Additional information

Under Vinotherapie Today, many spa facilities and wellness hotels are offered services through different products grapes as well as moderate enjoyment of wine to promote wellbeing, beauty and health. See the topic complex also under ADH (Loss of alcohol in the human body), ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake = daily acceptable amounts), alcoholism. alcohol ban. allergy. Blood alcohol concentration (BAK = calculation of the alcohol level), hangover. a headache. intoxication and drinking culture,

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