Wine has become today one of the most present drinks on Italian tables and boasts a long history that began thousands of years ago. The ancient vines and the first winemaking practices in history dates back to the civilization of Mesopotamia. Wine consolidated its role in society very quickly. In ancient Egypt, some amphorae containing natural wines were part of King Tutankhamun’s funeral kit. These containers indicated the production area and the vintage of the product.
The “veneration”, the cult for ancient wines spread widely by the Egyptian people, was then was handed down to the Jews, Arabs and Greeks. It was in ancient Greece that this table nectar took on a “divine” role, thanks to Dionysus, the deities that the Greeks dedicated to wine.
It was during this period that the wine expanded over the Mediterranean Sea to land in Sicily and then slowly towards Europe, passing first by the Sabines and then by the Etruscans who made an important contribution to the spread of wine by expanding the cultivation between Campania and the Padana plain. Later it was the Romans who spread the viticulture, celebrated by Bacchus in the circle of the gods.
There is often talk of wine benefits but, before we go into this subject, it is important to keep in mind:
Wine is an alcoholic beverage and, as such, it must be consumed in moderate quantities. The reasonable limit is two glasses per day for a man and one drink a day for women, preferably during major meals and never on an empty stomach.
The difference between the use of the consumption in men and women depends on the different biological characteristics of their female bodies, which allows for the elimination of approximately half alcohol from the male.
People who must not drink alcohol (and therefore not even wine):
- People who are about to drive a vehicle;
- All those who take medicines capable of interacting with alcohol, for example, antiepileptics and Psychopharmaceuticals –
- Pregnant women;
- Minors aged 16. Why 16 years? Before that age, enzymes that could assimilate alcohol are completely absent. These enzymes arrive at full maturation for around 21 years.
The benefits of the wine and the brain
According to scientific studies, wine is good for the body and, above all, the health of the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular system. It also seems to have the power to extend life; several epidemiological studies have shown greater longevity in moderate drinking beverages than in the advances and strong drinking.
Numerous clinical and epidemiological investigations have focused on the protective action of wine against the heart and pots. The reason for these benefits are polyphenols, especially resveratrol. However, not all wines are the same; antioxidant foods are mainly present in aged reds, much less in young wines and whites.
The components of wine act at various levels:
They have an antioxidant and anti-ageing effect;
They act positively on cholesterol, triglycerides and basal blood sugar;
They induce an increase in tissue sensitivity to insulin action;
They have a fibrinolytic and antithrombotic action.
A protective role of wine has also been hypothesized for Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative diseases of the nervous system. Again, the credit would go to antioxidants and in particular to resveratrol.
Wine benefits on other organs
But the benefits of wine don’t end here.
Moderate intake of wine seems to have a beneficial effect on the bones, combating osteoporosis as much as men as in women. Some studies have shown a positive effect of white wine in preventing rheumatic diseases; this benefit should be due to two – thyrosodium – tyros and caffeic acid – capable of counteracting inflammation.
Red wine has been developed on the calculates of the cholecystic and some types of cancer. We have to wait for further studies to confirm.