MILAN, Italy: Wine is good for the heart and the brain, for everybody and even for type-2 diabetics, Italian and international experts said at a conference held here at the Wine Pavilion of the Milan world exposition on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).
Cardiovascular diseases and cancer are responsible for over two-thirds of deaths in the Western world, but drug therapies have not always proved to be effective.
“That is why science has begun to explore new paths, finding answers in what simply has always been under our observation, the Mediterranean diet, a secular heritage,” said Giovanni de Gaetano, head of the department of epidemiology and prevention at the Mediterranean Neurological Institute in Pozzilli.
The Mediterranean diet is characterized by widespread consumption of plant foods, fresh fish, olive oil and a moderate consumption of wine at meals. Meat, dairy products and eggs are consumed less frequently.
De Gaetano explained that during the last decade, data of an epidemiological study cohort named “Moli-sani” have clearly shown that the Mediterranean diet and especially wine, a fundamental component, consumed in moderation “reduces the risk of cardiovascular events, cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, and significantly decreases total mortality.”
Experts said great benefits have been demonstrated not only in the field of primary prevention, but also in patients already affected by a previous clinical event or at high cardiovascular risk.
“We are telling visitors who care for health from all over the world that wine, when consumed in right quantity, is very good for health,” Paolo Panerai, Executive Vice President of the Comitato Grandi Cru d’Italia, which unites most of the highest-level wine producers, said on the sidelines of the conference.
“The cardiovascular effects were already known, but what has been revealed here today is the (positive) effect on cognitive disorders, thus including Alzheimer’s. Wine reduces and slows down these processes,” he noted.
So is wine definitely good for health?
“Sure, provided that we drink it during meals, regularly and not only at weekends, and start with small doses to gradually increase to one or two glasses a day,” Enzo Grossi, Scientific Advisor of the Italian Pavilion at the nutrition-themed Expo Milano 2015, who coordinated the conference, said.
These basic rules of “wine-drinking culture,” he said, should be especially taught to Asian people, who genetically lack the ability to “detoxify” alcohol. PNA/Xinhua