Feature: Food & Living

Drinking Good For Your Health, Ladies?

Author: Martha Shaw
Published: September 11, 2011 at 12:20 am

Cheers, ladies! While whining isn’t good for us, it appears that a glass of wine may very well add health to our years! This is great news! Since we find that as our bodies age it so often feels as though we consume less, exercise more, and still the scale betrays us, how delightful to find that we can indulge in a bit of wine and not feel guilty!

The Bible is full of references to folks drinking wine, so this shouldn’t be a surprise. Research in a new study has shown one drink a day might be good for the overall health in women as they age. The Harvard School of Public Health analyzed the results of one of the largest studies of women’s health, with more than 14,000 responding.

The study showed that women who indicated that they consumed one alcoholic beverage per day at age 58 showed a 20 percent better chance of “aging successfully” than the respondents who were non-drinkers. What exactly is “successful aging” you might ask? It includes the following:

• Making it to age 70 with good cognitive function
• No major chronic diseases
• No physical limitations
• Good overall mental health

This doesn’t mean we should all consume a bottle of wine with dinner once a week. The study clearly reflected the improvement related to women who drank one drink a night, five nights per week, and NOT five drinks in one night. Further research is needed to define why these results have been shown, but it would appear that the body is less able to process larger quantities of alcohol in one sitting versus a moderate amount consumed nightly.

“If you just focus on one aspect of health, that’s very misleading,” said Dr. Qi Sun, a researcher in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and the study’s lead author. “What we are looking at is very comprehensive. For women who have one drink per day — equivalent to one can of beer, one shot of liquor or one glass of wine — that is associated with an increased chance of achieving successful aging, which means multiple aspects of health.”

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Martha Shaw

A freelance writer and part time teacher of creative writing now living in Charleston South Carolina, I was raised in MA where my previous career was as a banking professional. I was also formerly a columnist for the Chelsea Weekly Newspaper. …

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