New Research Might Have You Pouring A Glass Of Red Wine With Dinner Tonight

Wine drinkers have news to clink glasses over once again: Everyone's favorite red beverage has been linked to yet another positive health effect. The American Heart Association recently announced the findings of a preliminary study that indicated drinking red wine with meals was associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Studying the drinking habits of over 300,000 adult participants, researchers found that consuming moderate amounts of red wine with food reduced the chance of developing the disease by 14%, compared to those that consumed alcohol alone. The study's author, Hao Ma, M.D., Ph.D., a biostatistical analyst at Tulane University Obesity Research Center in New Orleans said, "The effects of alcohol consumption on health have been described as a double-edged sword because of its apparent abilities to cut deeply in either direction — harmful or helpful, depending on how it is consumed." With this study that analyzed participants over 11 years, the researchers wanted to investigate how other factors, such as the timing of alcohol intake or consumption with meals, would affect the development of newly onset type 2 diabetes, specifically.

How you consume is key to red wine benefit

Although the researchers found that drinking red wine with meals had a protective effect on developing type 2 diabetes, they did not find this association with other types of alcohol. In fact, the consumption of beer or liquor, whether with a meal or without, actually was correlated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes (via American Heart Association). They also found that the positive benefit of drinking red wine with meals was also dependent on not having other health issues.

"The message from this study is that drinking moderate amounts of wine with meals may prevent type 2 diabetes if you do not have another health condition that may be negatively affected by moderate alcohol consumption and in consultation with your doctor," said Dr. Mao. The past president of the American Heart Association, Dr. Robert H. Eckel, who was not involved in the study, added that it may not necessarily be consumption of wine with meals that may help ward off the onset of type 2 diabetes, but possibly the antioxidants that have been found to have powerful medicinal properties in different studies.

Red wine is linked to many different health benefits

According to a 2018 clinical review published in Molecules, drinking red wine on a regular basis may be able to protect you from a wide variety of serious chronic diseases and reduce damage done to the cardiovascular system. But the researchers also stressed that the incredible benefits of red wine are due to specific wine polyphenol compounds like resveratrol and anthocyanins, which come from the grape and are also found in other fruits and vegetables.

Resveratrol has in fact been widely studied for its impressive medicinal profile. According to the Mayo Clinic, it's a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to protect both the heart and brain by reducing inflammation in blood vessels and may also be able to combat cancer. Anthocyanins are a dark blue antioxidant group that, according to a 2020 review, have been found to protect against neurodegeneration and eye-related diseases, as well as possess anti-aging properties.

While red wine is a good source of these potent antioxidants, both the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that those that do not currently drink alcohol should not start since alcohol consumption carries health risks, and these compounds can be found in other foods besides red wine (via American Heart Association).