Wine is a traditional beverage that has been associated with both healthy and harmful effects. Conceptions like the so-called "French paradox" or the beneficial impact of the Mediterranean diet suggest benefit. Wine has a complex composition, which is affected by whether it is red or white or by other variables, like the variety of grapes or others. Alcohol and phenolic compounds have been attributed a participation in the benefits ascribed to wine. The case of alcohol has been extensively studied, but the key question is whether wine offers additional benefits. Resveratrol, a non-flavonoid compound, and quercetin, a flavonol, have received particular attention. There is much experimental work confirming a beneficial balance for both substances, particularly resveratrol, in various organs and systems. The pharmacological dosages used in many of those experiments have shed doubt, however, on the clinical translation of those findings. Clinical studies are limited by their observational nature as well as for the difficulties to abstract the benefits of wine from other confounders. Notwithstanding the doubts, there is reasonable unanimity in beneficial effects of moderate wine consumption in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, maybe neurological diseases, and longevity. Observations are less enthusiastic in what refers to cancer. While considering these limitations, clinicians may spread the message that the balance of moderate wine consumption seems beneficial.
Keywords: Alcohol; Health; Resveratrol; Wine.
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