As a vital component of the immune response, inflammation is the body’s effort to heal damaged tissue after an injury and/or defend itself against viruses and bacteria. Red wine may help reduce inflammation because it contains a potentially anti-inflammatory compound called resveratrol. Without the body’s natural inflammatory response, you could potentially die from infected wounds, injuries, or illnesses. However, if inflammation in the body is chronic, it can lead to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or autoimmune disease such as MS.
One way you can control inflammation is through your diet. Evidence shows that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (the best is the Mediterranean diet) is one that includes fish, fresh vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, nuts, and moderate amounts of red wine. Ximena Jimenez, a Miami-based nutritionist and national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, claims, “Anti-inflammatory food components, such as omega-3, protect the body against the possible damage caused by inflammation.”
A recent article from WineSpectator.com titled, Wine May Help Ease Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms, suggests that wine has the ability to ease inflammation and slow the progression of MS in some cases.
“Researchers found that relapse MS sufferers who drank wine seemed to enjoy an observable ‘protective effect.’ Symptoms decreased. In the study, more than 80% of the participants drank up to 7 glasses of wine per week. The same also held true for people who drink coffee or eat fish regularly.”
Research conducted at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, Louisiana and published in The American Journal of Pathology set out to determine whether resveratrol reduces inflammation or serves as an anti-viral agent when administered to mice who had a condition resembling MS. “Scientists determined that resveratrol appeared to promote myelin damage and inflammation, potentially worsening MS and its associated symptoms. Prior studies, however, showed that resveratrol can protect the nervous system in mice with MS-like symptoms.” This is a perfect example of how science is not as straight-forward as one would like; also further proving the complexity of the human body.
For years you have been told that red wine is heart-healthy. But if you are a person with MS, research has no definitive answer as to whether or not it is healthy for you. Personally, I find that consuming red wine or any alcoholic beverage leads to my feeling inflamed. However, I really enjoy an occasional glass of red wine and don’t want to give it up. Therefore, I choose to enjoy red wine in moderation regardless of its effect on my body. Additionally, I choose to consume an anti-inflammatory diet as well as vitamins that decrease inflammation. Moderation is key as well as doing what you feel is right for your body.
Are you a wine drinker? Does it affect your MS?
Barbara inspires hope through mindful health and a meaningful life. By combining healthy living, spirituality, and neuroscience principles, she helps people understand how to be proactive in their health care versus reactionary in their sick care so they can feel great in their body and in their life. Her greatest wish is to never hear a person say, “I should be taking better care of myself.” To learn more and receive her FREE guide, visit Appelbaum Wellness.