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Life & Style
Sep 2 2012 8:23PM
 
Six good reasons to toast your health with wine
A hostess pours a tasting of Shiraz at the Dalton winery exhibit at the Sommelier 2007 wine festival. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
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Oenophiles rejoice, a glass or two or red wine with a meal may boost your heart health, help you lose weight, reduce forgetfulness, boost your immunity, and even help with bone loss. Here are six research-backed reasons to say cheers.

1. Protect your brain - When researchers gave memory tests to older women, those who drank one drink or more every day scored much better than those who drank less or not at all. Wine has been found to help prevent clots and reduce blood vessel inflammation, and alcohol also seems to raise HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, which works to unclog your arteries.

2. Zap the fat - Researchers from Purdue University in the US say they've found a compound in red wine, grapes, blueberries, and passion fruit that blocks immature fat cells' ability to develop and grow. Studies find that people who drink wine daily have a lower body mass than those who indulge occasionally.

3. Good for your gut - A Spanish study found that the polyphenol content in red wine can promote the activity of healthy bacteria in the gut, an area that's gained widespread interest in light of digestive disorders like celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome. In the study, subjects who drank red wine were found to show an increased percentage of beneficial gut bacteria in the lining of their intestines.

4. Protect the ovaries - Australian researchers found that about one glass of wine a day seemed to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by as much as 50 percent. Experts suspect this may be due to wine's high level of antioxidants or phytoestrogens, which have high anticancer properties.

5. Build better bones - A study found that women who drink moderately have higher bone mass than those who don't drink. The rationale is that alcohol appears to boost estrogen levels, which may slow the body's destruction of existing bone more than it slows the production of new bone.

6. Safeguard against type 2 diabetes - According to a 10-year Harvard Medical School study in the US, premenopausal women who drank one or two glasses of wine a day were found to be 40 percent less likely than women who don't drink to develop type 2 diabetes. -Relaxnews

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