PMT 2017-032 by Mischelle Sandowich (Reformed Health)

Wine is a gift to the human race. What makes wine a gift and not a curse? The answer is in the benefits of wine for your health and emotional well-being. So far we have looked at wine solely from a biblical perspective, but today we will look at 18 science based benefits of wine. If you’ve missed the previous posts, to date we have:

• noted that there are three basic views on alcohol use in the Bible: prohibitionist; abstentionist; and moderationist
• demonstrated that wine in the Bible contained alcohol
• shown one of the benefits of wine is its natural ability to ferment into alcohol – which brings joy to the heart
• provided 14 reasons that God approves the drinking of wine
• and shared 30 warnings in the Bible against drunkenness

Today we will talk about the health benefits of wine from a scientific approach. But first, let’s recap two clear benefits of wine in the Bible as we begin our dialogue. We provide the scientific data as a means to support the Bible’s claims. So first we must be sure the Bible makes these claims – then we can evaluate the supporting evidence for the benefits of wine. Science is often wrong or mistaken – the Bible is not. So let’s start there.

• Paul instructed Timothy to have a little wine for his frequent ailments – 1 Timothy 5:23
• The Bible teaches that God gave wine to make man’s heart glad – Psalm 104:15

These two verses are sufficient to show that wine has both health benefits and emotional benefits. (Please view previous posts for a more thorough argument.) So what does science say about the benefits of wine consumed in moderation?

God Gave Wine (by Ken Gentry)

A biblical defense of moderate alcohol consumption. Considers all key biblical passages and engages the leading objections.

See more study materials at:

1. Wine has the ability to ward off the common cold

According to the New York Times, “researchers at Carnegie Mellon in 1993, looked at 391 adults and found that resistance to colds increased with moderate drinking, except in smokers.” And another study in The American Journal of Epidemiology showed that “drinking 8 to 14 glasses of wine per week, particularly red wine, was linked to as much as a 60 percent reduction in the risk of developing a cold. The scientists suspected this had something to do with the antioxidant properties of wine.”

2. Compounds in wine can protect against heart disease

According to the National Institute of Health, “Polyphenols.have been studied to determine if their intake may modify cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk..recent evidence suggests that immunomodulatory and vasodilatory properties of polyphenols may.contribute to CVD risk reduction.laboratories, have suggested that these beneficial effects are due to polyphenols found in red wine, especially resveratrol in grape skins. These benefits include a reduction in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.”

3. Red wine in moderation reduces risk of heart attack

The Mayo Clinic reports: “Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent coronary artery disease, the condition that leads to heart attacks.”

4. Moderate red wine consumption reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes

Annals of Internal Medicine reports a two year controlled study showing evidence that moderate red wine consumption improves blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics.

5. A glass of wine per day lowers risk of stroke by 21%

According to Live Science: “Women who drank low amounts of alcohol – about half of a glass of wine per day, on average – were 17 percent less likely to have a stroke compared with women who drank no alcohol. Women who drank about a glass a day were 21 percent less likely to have a stroke than abstainers.”

6. Moderate wine drinking cuts the risk of cataracts in half

Medscape Medical News claims, “When consumed in moderation, red wine may reduce the risk of developing cataracts.” In addition, studies show “that nondrinkers and heavy drinkers of any sort of alcohol had a substantially increased risk for cataract development, while moderate red wine drinkers had only half the risk.”

7. Piceatannol, a compound found in red wine, can help with weight loss

Dr. Axe reports: “Purdue University conducted a study that suggests red wine may help fight obesity. This is due to a compound found in grapes and other fruits, that has a similar chemical structure to resveratrol.” The compound that takes the credit is piceatannol, which blocks “an immature fat cell’s ability to develop and grow.”

God Gave Wine Lectures
By Ken Gentry

Professionally-produced, four-part doculecture series, engages a hotly-debated issue within the Christian church: the question of the Christian and alcoholic beverages. Presents and defends the case for a moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages by Christians.

See more study materials at:

8. 7-14 glasses of red wine per week keeps the brain sharper

According to the Memory Foundation, a “study of 7,485 Australians aged between 20 and 64 years of age. found: People who drank moderately (up to 7 drinks a week for females and up to 14 drinks a week for males) performed better than abstainers on all measures of cognitive abilities.”

To read the remaining 10 benefits: click.

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  1. Bud Wesche April 21, 2017 at 11:46 am

    “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
    Romans 14:17

    “Thou hast put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.”
    Psalm 4:7

  2. Bud Wesche April 22, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Here is a small sampling of some of the facts that you ignore in your passion to defend the use of the toxin, ethanol . . .

    The relationship between alcohol consumption and breast cancer has been studied multiple times, and there does appear to be a link. Studies have shown that this link is dose-responsive, meaning the more you drink, the greater the risk of developing breast cancer.

    To date, alcohol has been associated with an increased risk of cancers of the breast, colon, liver and pancreas.

    A 2014 analysis of many different studies published in the British Journal of Dermatology found an 18 percent increase in melanoma among people who drank more than one alcoholic beverage per day, regardless of the type.

    Researchers found that overall, … Those who drank alcohol had a 14 percent increase in the rate of melanoma, and that number increased to 21 percent in those who had one or more drink per day.

    Robert Ashley, M.D., is an internist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

  3. Kenneth Gentry April 25, 2017 at 6:35 am

    I think you are suggesting these verses to counter the argument that God allows wine-drinking. However, all these verses say is that wine-drinking is not the essence of the biblical faith. I would agree with that. The true faith is much more than drinking. And notice: it is also much more than “eating.” But surely you would not stop eating!

    Interestingly, wine drinking can be a symbol of the faith, however. Isa 25:6-7 reads:

    “The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, And refined, aged wine. 7 And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, Even the veil which is stretched over all nations.

  4. Kenneth Gentry April 25, 2017 at 6:43 am


    There are many medical studies demonstrating the health benefits of moderate wine consumption. Those match well with the Bible’s allowing wine-consumption.

    Plus the research to which you refer is debated.

    Interestingly, Dr. Ashley (whom you quote) especially noted that binge drinking was the culprit. He added: “It is difficult to make an overarching conclusion from this data, but there does appear to be some correlation between alcohol and an increased risk of breast cancer recurrence. However, this correlation was not seen in women who drank alcohol less frequently than one drink every other day. So in regard to breast cancer, it’s likely safe to have a glass of wine (two units of alcohol) every three days, as this amount doesn’t seem to be linked to an increased risk of new or recurrent breast cancer.”

    Bud: You seem to read both the Bible and selective medical research carelessly. Be careful!

  5. Mischelle Sandowich April 26, 2017 at 8:56 am

    The issue is how much wine. All the benefits of wine reverse when too much wine (or alcohol) is consumed. This includes the risk of breast cancer. Here is the other side of the argument: 13 Health Dangers of Drinking too Much Alcohol.

  6. Kenneth Gentry April 26, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Invariably the issue always involves quantity of consumption.

  7. Mischelle Sandowich April 26, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Everything in moderation.

  8. Kenneth Gentry April 26, 2017 at 9:19 am

    This is why Scripture can both allow (Matt. 11:19; John 2:1-10) and disallow (Prov. 23:29-31) wine-drinking. It all depends on how much and in what circumstances (e.g., Prov. 23:29-31). Wine is allowed as a blessing in moderation (Psa. 104:14-15), but becomes a curse in immoderation (Isa. 5:11). This is similar to food being either a blessing or a curse: when gluttony prevails sin is involved and bad health results.

  9. Bud Wesche April 27, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    How does alcohol increase the risk of cancer?
    Researchers have identified multiple ways that alcohol may increase the risk of cancer, including:

    –metabolizing (breaking down) ethanol in alcoholic drinks to acetaldehyde, which is a toxic chemical and a probable human carcinogen; acetaldehyde can damage both DNA (the genetic material that makes up genes) and proteins

    –generating reactive oxygen species (chemically reactive molecules that contain oxygen), which can damage DNA, proteins, and lipids (fats) through a process called oxidation
    impairing the body’s ability to break down and absorb a variety of nutrients that may be associated with cancer risk, including vitamin A; nutrients in the vitamin B complex, such as folate; vitamin C; vitamin D; vitamin E; and carotenoids

    –increasing blood levels of estrogen, a sex hormone linked to the risk of breast cancer

    –Alcoholic beverages may also contain a variety of carcinogenic contaminants that are introduced during fermentation and production, such as nitrosamines, asbestos fibers, phenols, and hydrocarbons.

  10. Bud Wesche April 27, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Medical Reversals

    There have been numerous medical reversals that are underpublicized.

    Medical reversal #1: Do red wine and resveratrol (SRT501) increase your lifespan? Don’t count on it.

    GlaxoSmithKline spent $720 million for its “science,” but as of December 2011 officially stopped the clinical trial and is out of the resveratrol (GSK’s Sirtris division) business. They have changed focus to “other compounds.” Resveratrol has been hailed as the wonder substance—a substance in red wine that could help patients live a healthier and longer life. But in 2010, Pfizer and Amgen announced that resveratrol FAILED to “activate” the SIRT1 gene—its supposed target. Here’s what Nature (International weekly journal of science) had to say in its 2011 article,

    “Longevity genes challenged:” “A widely touted—but controversial—molecular fountain of youth has come under fire yet again, with the publication of new data challenging the link between proteins called sirtuins and longer lifespan. “Instead, the authors argue that the longer lifespan originally seen was the result of unrelated mutations lurking in the background of the experimental strains. “Researchers were finding that when they mated the strain with normal nematodes—a practice commonly done to ensure that there are no additional mutations affecting the phenotype—the reported longevity boost disappeared.”

    The very popular idea that drinking red wine makes people live longer was also debunked in The New York Times in 2011:35 “A trans-Atlantic dispute has opened up between two camps of researchers pursuing a gene that could lead to drugs that enhance longevity. British scientists say the longevity gene is “nearing the end of its life,” but the Americans whose work is under attack say the approach remains as promising as ever. “…The London group believes the aging field is full of sloppy experiments done by people new to the field and more interested in publicity than in excluding the factors that confound this difficult subject. The American sirtuin researchers under criticism believe the London group has gone beyond simple correction into ‘gotcha’ science that is not collegial. Usually, they say, if a scientist cannot repeat another’s experiment, he will call up first to find out why instead of putting his objections into print first.

    “The theory that resveratrol activates sirtuins, which then prolong life span, is popular because of the notion that drinking red wine can make people live longer, but it ‘should have been abandoned five years ago,’ said Richard A. Miller, who studies aging in mice at the University of Michigan.”

    Another 2011 exposé is from the online scientific journal, Science reporting on an article in Nature. “A study out tomorrow in Nature by researchers from the Institute of Healthy Ageing at the University College of London and colleagues is questioning the anti-aging effects of sirtuin—which is ‘just’ the most important anti-aging gene of the decade—claiming that its capacity to increase longevity was nothing more than an experimental error, and showing that, once the flaws are corrected, sirtuin has no effect on lifespan. But even if this is not the first time that some experiments are questioned, it is the first time that researchers are able to identify problems in the original experiments and show that when they are corrected the outcome is very different (and not in one, but in six of them). In other words, these new results will not be easily fought off. “And in the last decade, sirtuin has probably been one of the industry’s biggest bets… So how did we get here, 10 years on, concluding that it is all a mistake? “What they discovered is that the resulting roundworms now showed normal lifespan despite conserving high levels of sirtuin. This basically meant that whatever was increasing longevity it was not sirtuin. “The conclusion, proved in this study over and over, is that sirtuins have no effect on longevity and that several of the essential experiments of the ‘anti-aging sirtuin theory’ were wrong due to design flaws which raises the question; why did it take 11 years to detect these?”

    Brian Scott Peskin, B.S.E.E., MIT; Robert Jay Rowen, MD.

  11. Kenneth Gentry April 27, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    I’m glad I am not an aging mouse!

  12. Mischelle Sandowich April 27, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    This is where we must let Scripture be the final judge. Here are a couple of follow up articles that address some of these various issues:

    How Much Alcohol Is Too Much Alcohol?

    Christian Liberty and Drunkenness

  13. Glen April 27, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Remember that with each average alcoholic drink, about 200 betz cells are killed in the brain. It might not sound like a lot, considering the billions of cells in the brain, but over time this adds up! The metabolic breakdown of not just the alcohol, but the congeners, in each drink are toxic, like the acetaldehyde and other products as noted above.

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