Is Wine a "Functional Food?"
Few nutritional topics spark more debate than wine consumption and its proposed health benefits. Research has shown that phytochemicals present in grapes and wine may be beneficial to health. Many research investigations have found that wine consumption in moderation is associated with reductions in all-cause mortality as well as several other health benefits. These results are more pronounced with red wine compared with white wine consumption. Defining the health benefits and functionality of wine is difficult, considering there are more than 200 potential independent phenolic compounds present in wine that vary in concentration depending on how the wine is fermented and processed. In addition to processing concerns, the potential health benefits of wine are complicated by the presence of alcohol. Ultimately clients should make their own decision about alcohol consumption after carefully weighing the potential benefits and associated risks.
The goal of this continuing education course is to understand the potential positive aspects of moderate wine consumption and the underlying mechanisms for the health benefits. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
- Define functional foods
- List the functional components of wine
- Summarize the health benefits of moderate drinking and hazards of heavy alcohol consumption