Wine Education: Does Drinking Red Wine Help with COPD?
If you google red wine and its health benefits, you will find numerous articles on red wine and heart disease or cholesterol. It turns out that red wine in moderation may also slow the progression and help ease the symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder or COPD.
What is COPD?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder or COPD represents a chronic inflammatory disorder of the lungs which causes obstruction. The symptoms include but are not limited to the following:
• Shortness of breath
• A persistent cough
• Edema in the feet or legs
Though heredity plays a part in the COPD affliction, the number one cause remains habitual and long-term smoking. Additionally, extended exposure to air pollution and chemicals or other work-related hazards also result in many COPD patients.
Conditions closely associated with COPD include emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
A chest X-Ray or CT scan most often facilitate the diagnosis of COPD. Treatment methods are dependent on the severity of the disease and may include the following:
• A healthy diet and appropriate exercise
• Cessation of all smoking
• Slow and fast-acting bronchodilators to relax the muscles surrounding the airways
• Inhaled steroids
• Antibiotics for exacerbations
• Oxygen therapy
• Surgery including a lung transplant on rare occasions
How Red Wine may help with COPD:
The compound known as resveratrol not only contains significant amounts of antioxidants but also helps to reduce inflammation. Red grape skins contain concentrated amounts of the nutritious compound making red wine the most logical libation choice.
Research involving resveratrol remains ongoing to come up with specifically targeted treatments for COPD. COPD patients possess high levels of macrophages. Macrophages are a specific cell type which releases interleukins. The chemical interleukin causes lung damage. Preliminary research suggests that resveratrol cuts the production of interleukins in half.
Moderation is Key:
When drinking wine for health benefits less really is more. More than six or seven ounces daily will produce adverse effects.
And, don't think about lighting up a cigarette with that glass of wine! Smoking remains the worst activity for COPD patients and drinking wine does not cancel it out.
If you don't drink, don't start. Resveratrol has other sources. But, if you do enjoy an adult libation, red wine represents the best choice.
Red wine also pairs well with tomato-based dishes. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a compound known to prevent lung cancer. The thicker the skin of the grape the more resveratrol and antioxidants. Two of the best choices to maximize the health benefits of red wine are Malbec and Pinot Noir.
Of course, always ask your doctor about your consumption of alcohol and how it may affect your medications.
For more information about red wine contact us.
- Adam Linet