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health (GB)
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In human history there is regular consumption of alcohol in direct connection with cultivated agriculture when it was started 6,000 to 8,000 years ago beer-like Brew drinks from cereals. People had individual experiences beforehand, but more or less by chance, when, for example, fruits began to ferment in the first primitive vessels and the resulting alcoholic liquids were consumed. Very soon these were also used for soothing or healing purposes, because various positive effects were accidentally recognized, but their cause could of course not be interpreted. This is attested in many ancient writings, including in the Bible,

Health - hand with grape, heart, wine glasses

Alcohol as a medicine

In the Jewish Talmud (Rabbi Banal) it says: Where there is no wine, medication is needed . At the Greek doctor Hippocrates (460-377 BC) wine played a role in almost all of its medicines. He prescribed it, among other things, to cool the fever, as a diuretic, to strengthen convalescents, and as a pain reliever. The Romans used the effectiveness of wine as an antibiotic, because during the conquests the soldiers received wine (or else vinegar ) mixed water. In some ancient cultures, alcohol consumption was even used intoxication also used as a means of communication. At the exuberant celebrations in honor of the wine god Dionysos In ancient Greece, intoxication was considered a purifying ceremonial with psycho-hygienic effects (for practices and customs see below drinking culture ).

The Greek philosopher Plutarch (45-125) said: Wine is the most useful among drinks, the most tasty among medicines and the most pleasant among foods . The Greek doctor Galen (129-199) recognized the antiseptic effects of wine and the French scholar Arnaldus de Villanova (1240-1311) wrote a book about the healing power of wine. The famous mystic and naturopath 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). Until the end of the 19th century, wine was a universal antiseptic in medicine, used to wash out wounds and make water drinkable. In cities in particular, water was a health hazard due to the lack of sewage systems and pollution with faeces. Next Wine other products of the grapevine used as medicine or remedies, for example Rebtränen against skin diseases.

positive effects from alcohol consumption

For good reasons, however, alcohol or alcoholic beverages, in spite of all actual or supposed positive effects, should never be regarded or labeled as medicine or medication. In moderate amounts, alcohol can have a sedative, antispasmodic, tension-relieving, analgesic, but also disinhibiting effect on the central nervous system. It triggers a certain amount of well-being, which quickly turns into the opposite if it is consumed excessively. There has always been great interest in researching the health effects of regular alcohol consumption on the human body. A number of studies have therefore been carried out in the past. Despite all the differences in the details, there were and still are high levels of agreement regarding positive effects.

The content of "good" blood fat HDL cholesterol is increased and the content of "bad" LDL cholesterol is reduced. Certain substances prevent the platelets (platelets) from sticking to the arteries and thus reduce the risk of vascular blockage and arterial calcification. Are responsible for it phenols how they special red wines contain. Storage in wooden barrels favors the formation of further phenols, which is, so to speak, for the Barrique speaks. The phenol compounds act as "health police" or as antioxidants. They bind "free radicals" (aggressive, malignant molecules) and render them harmless. Wear particularly positively flavonoids (Dyes), as well glutathione. resveratrol and salicylic acid at. The latter is also contained in aspirin and is recommended as a prevention for heart diseases. Heart and circulatory diseases can apparently be prevented by moderate consumption of red wine.

A study by the Ulm University Clinic in the German state of Baden-Württemberg has shown that moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer can increase the level of adiponectin in the blood. The hormone is formed in the fat cells, but correlates inversely with body fat. That means the more obese the less adiponectin. Together with leptin, insulin and other hormones, it regulates the metabolism of sugar and fatty acids and the feeling of hunger. The effect of insulin on the fat cells is increased and anti-inflammatory effects on the blood vessels. Low adiponectin levels are associated with an increased cardiovascular risk, high ones are considered to be heart-protecting.

The German Wine Academy (DWA) informed about the responsible use of wine as follows: Almost all scientific data available to date clearly indicate the health benefits of moderate wine consumption. This applies in particular to cardiovascular diseases - the overwhelming burden of proof of hard scientific data leaves even the greatest skeptic with no other choice. This biological fact and the fact that cardiovascular diseases - primarily myocardial infarction - are the most common cause of death today, obliges to point out the protective effect of moderate wine consumption. Always implied that the dangers of abuse are not kept secret, 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 fatal cardiovascular diseases in men between 55 and 64 years of age. It turned out that in France far fewer people die from heart diseases than in other countries, although here, by far, people eat less fat or “healthier” foods. However, the French drink far more wine (especially red wine) than other peoples. They are at the top in terms of both wine consumption and life expectancy. The extremely health-conscious Americans are second to Finland in the death rate.

Of course there was also criticism of this study: Because what good is it not to suffer from cardiovascular diseases, but to die early from alcohol consumption from cirrhosis of the liver . In any case, in 1991 on American TV about the published results as "French paradox" ( French paradox ) reported phenomenon. This caused red wine consumption to skyrocket almost overnight in the United States. Based on these findings, the pharmaceutical industry sensed a big deal with powder extracts from red wine, which contain all positive phenols but no alcohol. Soon afterwards there were fruity lozenges made from red wine powder with all the valuable substances like a red wine.

In the mid-1990s, the US government announced in its dietary guidelines that alcohol, especially wine, is moderately beneficial for health. Small amounts consumed regularly reduce the risk of premature death from an infarction or other illness by half. And surprisingly, in 1996 the American “College of Cardiology” abstained from alcohol (sic) on the list of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. This is surprising for a country that has always had an ambivalent relationship with alcohol and luxury foods. An example is that prohibition 1920 to 1933, where the consumption of alcohol was demonized in an almost inquisitorial manner, but after more than a dozen painful years had to take note that alcohol bans not bring the desired success.

However, the connection between moderate wine or alcohol consumption and a 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 you break down the alcohol consumed quickly or slowly. People with rapid oxidation had a 36% lower risk of heart disease compared to pure abstainers. But those with a slow breakdown even reached 86%. In America, 15 to 17% of the white population is a slow group.


A study published in 2015 by a team of researchers from the University College London questioned all previous analyzes and the conclusions drawn. This study looked at 18,000 older English people over a ten-year period. The basic assumption was that all analyzes made up to that point would have been unclean. In the group of abstainers, all the dry alcoholics had not been excluded. However, because of the long-term consequences, these would have a lower life expectancy and would therefore increase the mortality rate among non-drinkers (to whom they do not belong) in comparison to moderate drinkers. In addition, no single study has so far proven beyond doubt that alcohol is actually responsible for a longer life expectancy. It could be that moderate drinkers would eat healthier than those who abstain. A Canadian team came to similar results in 2016. Even people who have to live abstinently due to an illness have not been excluded.

The sobering conclusion for all wine lovers: Certainly alcohol (by itself) or regular alcohol consumption has 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 the wine like resveratrol only in combination with alcohol or alone, for example in the form of pills, for example, will the positive effects most likely apply. The positive effects described above, especially when enjoying red wine, are at least canceled out by the alcohol. As a rule, abstainers live healthier. Regardless, you should have a joyful one Weingenuss do not let it spoil with measure and reason, because joy of life has a positive influence on body and mind.

acceptable amounts of alcohol

Regular consumption of alcohol should only take place in generally good health. Other aspects to be considered regarding tolerance are gender, type of person (Asians, for example, tolerate less alcohol - see below ADH ), medication to be taken regularly, body weight, amount of fat in the body, type of alcohol, drinking speed (which amount in which period) and environmental conditions (air temperature). Regular consumption of alcohol in too large quantities can allergies, manifold health damage up to addiction - that is alcoholism - to lead.

Alcohol should be avoided entirely during pregnancy and breastfeeding because of the risks to the child. With overweight people a limited consumption is advisable because of the high energy content (95% are converted into energy). People with pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or liver damage (fatty liver) as well as former alcoholics have to do without alcohol completely in order to avoid a risk of relapse.

The crucial question is which amounts of alcohol are acceptable to health or presumably (!) Not harmful to health. A wide variety of values are given, the range is between 20 and 60 grams per day (in case of doubt, the lower limit should be assumed). The World Health Organization (WHO) published the following in 2002: 20 grams of pure alcohol per day for women and 40 grams for men are the upper limit for (presumably) non-harmful alcohol consumption.

This corresponds 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, The amount is lower in women because the liver is also involved in the breakdown of female sex hormones. If the estrogens become less during menopause, more alcohol is tolerated. Other reasons are lower body weight and higher body fat percentage. In the opinion of the DGE (German Society for Nutrition), however, the tolerable amounts are much lower, namely only a maximum of 20 grams per day for men and 10 grams for women - exactly half.

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

wine law issues

According to Wine labeling regulations In the EU, all health issues for beverages above 1.2% vol label and forbidden in advertising statements. Terms like Health wine. sick wine. diabetics wine. Still wine Among other things, are not permitted to create associations "good for the sick, diabetics or breastfeeding mothers" and the like. to avoid. This also applies to attributes "digestible" or similar. The difference between moderate Weingenuss and alcohol abuse is described in an essay by the poet Peter Rosegger (1843-1918).

Additional information

Under Vinotherapie Today, many spa facilities and wellness hotels offer services that are characterized by various products grapes as well as moderate enjoyment of wine to promote well-being, beauty and health. See also under the topic ADH (Alcohol breakdown in the human body), ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake = Acceptable Daily Intake), alcoholism. alcohol ban. allergy. Blood alcohol concentration (BAK = calculation of the alcohol level), Male cat. a headache. intoxication and drinking culture,

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