The French Paradox
Wine has specific qualities in comparison to other alcoholic beverages and according to the “French Paradox”, drinking wine every day can be good for you.
The “French Paradox” arose from the observation that although French people include in their diets as much animal fat as people in other countries such as Denmark, the rate of mortality from heart disease in France was three times less - apparently due in part to the consumption of wine. Extensive research was then carried out all over the world to try and find a molecular or cellular explanation for this phenomenon.
The conference organized under the auspices of the Office International de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV) (The International Office of Vines and Wines) at Vinexpo in 2003 highlighted studies that have been carried out over the last ten years in a number of countries (United States, Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands). These studies all conclude that wine has a protective effect not only against cardiovascular disease, but also against cancer, diabetes, arthritis and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
According to these studies, wine consumed in moderation can have a beneficial effect on the body’s various metabolisms, thanks to the substances it contains.
In layman’s terms, the ethanol contained in wine causes the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood to "rise", thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, and the polyphenols (made up of antioxidants) help the flow of blood and so reduce the risk of thrombosis (blood clotting), as does the nitric oxide.
However, even if these scientific studies conclude that the moderate and regular consumption of wine may have beneficial health effects, it should nonetheless be emphasized that excessive consumption of any alcoholic drink has harmful effects, both socially and on individual health.