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A Little Wine, Sunlight Help Boost Women's Health
Date:11/8/2007

Two small studies suggest life-enhancing, life-extending benefits

THURSDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Two of life's simple pleasures -- a glass of wine, a little time in the sun -- may have benefits for women's health.

Wine first: In a report from Spain, researchers at the University of Barcelona evaluated the effects of moderate consumption of red and white wine -- 6.8 ounces, or two glasses a day -- in 35 nonsmoking Spanish women, average age 38.

The study was done like any other controlled medical trial, with each woman drinking the recommended "dose" of either white or red wine for four-week periods, with a four-week dry period separating each round of study.

"The data showed that, in comparison with the baseline period, consumption of both red and white wines increased serum [blood] HDL cholesterol (often called 'good' cholesterol), which suggests a cardio-protective effect," said the report in the November issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"Similarly, serum concentrations of interleukin-6 and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (both markers of chronic inflammation), decreased significantly after both wine ingestion periods," the authors wrote.

Other markers of cardiac health were affected "in a healthy way" by red wine a little more than by white wine, the researchers added. The study provides, "scientifically rigorous evidence" that moderate wine consumption helps keep the heart healthy by preventing low-grade inflammation in women, the Spanish team concluded.

"This continues to add to many other studies by showing the mechanisms by which both red and white wine help prevent heart disease," said Dr. R. Curtis Ellison, professor of medicine and public health at Boston University. "When you give women a glass and a half of wine each day, you have considerable effects on improving inflammation, a little more for red wine than for white," said Ellison,
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