Wine: A Scientific Exploration
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Interest in wine science has grown enormously over the last two decades as the health benefits of moderate wine consumption have become firmly established in preventing heart disease, stroke, cancer and dementia. The growth of molecular biology has allowed proper investigation of grapevine identity and lineage and led to improvements in the winemaking process.
This book explores the history and appreciation of wine, its early role as a medicine and modern evidence on how and why wine protects against disease. It also addresses genetic modification of the grapevine, long recognized as a natural process, and of the microbes involved in the making of wine. Pharmacologists, biochemists, epidemiologists, physicians, and public health officials will find this book not only a wealth of data, but also a fascinating read.
alcohol alone. Throughout this chapter, we will be confronted with the issue of the pattern of drinking. In general, the vast majority of studies to date have relied on some indicator of ‘average’ consumption (mean intake or number of drinks per day or week, etc.). This is, however, a crude measure of drinking. Two people consuming the same amount, say 140 g of alcohol per week, may drink very differently. One can drink 20 g of alcohol each day (regular or sustained drinking), while the second
approach 93 1.1 Relative risk 1 0.9 Men Women 0.8 0.7 0.6 None <1 /day 1 /day 2–3 /day Alcohol consumption (drinks/day) 4+ /day Figure 5.1 Alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality in US men and women (based on Thun et al. 1997). 1995; Rimm et al. 1996; Corrao et al. 2000). In general, moderate drinkers have lower mortality than non-drinkers; there seems to be little association between consumption and mortality within moderate intake levels. At higher intake levels, the mortality
fallacy’ (Piantadosi et al. 1988). This bias is specific to ecological studies, and in principle it means that we cannot be sure that individuals who have a low risk of heart disease in countries with high wine intake are those who consume a lot of wine. In other words, these studies imply an extrapolation from populations (countries) to individuals but since there are no data on individuals this extrapolation is necessarily speculative. It needs to be confirmed by studies in individuals. Studies
A., Friedman, G. D. (1997) Red wine, white wine, liquor, beer, and risk of coronary artery disease hospitalization. American Journal of Cardiology: 80, 416–20. 106 M. Bobak and M. Marmot LaPorte, R. E., Cresanta, J. L., Kuller, L. H. (1980) The relationship of alcohol consumption to atherosclerotic heart disease. Preventive Medicine: 9, 22–40. Leger, A. S., Cochrane, A. L., Moore, F. (2002) Factors associated with cardiac mortality in developed contries, with particular reference to the
not only for the Eucharist, but also for their guests, because the monasteries were the three-star hotels of the Middle Ages for wealthy travellers. Wine was also significant as a trading commodity. As such it had been important to the Greeks and Romans, and it regained its importance once again in medieval Europe. The port of Bordeaux flourished as a result of the export of wine to England, Scotland and northern Europe. Ease of transport was crucial, and above all that meant rivers at a time