Researchers have long suspected that drinking wine in moderation contributes to heart health, but new results from a European study conclude that exercise is an essential ingredient to realizing the benefits of vino. The 146 participants of the study drank moderate amounts five nights a week, defined as between 2-2.5 glasses for a man and about 2 glasses for a women.

"By itself, drinking wine did not appreciably affect cholesterol, blood glucose, triglycerides, or levels of inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein. ... Among those who worked out twice per week and drank wine, there was significant improvement in cholesterol levels (increased HDL and decreased LDL) after a year of wine—red or white, no matter."

As for why exercise augments the benefits of wine, scientists speculate that there may be "some synergy between the low dose of ethyl alcohol in wine and exercise which is protective against cardiovascular disease." Of course thinking of dietary decision in terms of isolated food groups or even activities like exercise is not the best way to proceed. Still, it's nice when good news comes from wine research.

To get you started, here's Big Think's 7-minute guide to understanding wine:

Read more at the Atlantic

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