When the Dread Pirate Roberts pours two goblets of red wine in the cult-classic movie, The Princess Bride, he already knows the outcome.
He mixes up the goblets and serves one to kidnapper and criminal mastermind Vizzini.
“The battle of wits has begun,” says Roberts. “It ends when you decide and we both drink to find out who is right and who is dead.”
And after a lot of back-and-forth banter, it’s the end of the road for Vizinni.
Chances are pretty good you’ve heard red wine may be good for the heart. But you may want to rethink your drink before you pour another glass. Why?
The World Health Federation recently published new findings recommending: “No amount of alcohol is good for the heart.”1
Alcohol by the numbers
2.4 million deaths per year worldwide are linked to alcohol
40 preventable diseases are linked to alcohol use (including heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer)
92 million people are disabled per year worldwide because of alcohol
10,000+ traffic-related fatalities per year in the U.S. are caused by alcohol
Some research suggests resveratrol and antioxidants in red wine may be good for heart health. But that doesn’t mean you should take up drinking wine.
“…There is an impression in the population in general, and even among health care professionals, that it is good for the heart,” says World Health Organization chair Beatriz Champange. “It is not, and the evidence has increasingly shown that there is no level of alcohol consumption that is safe for health.”
The Red Wine Paradox
Drinking red wine isn’t a cure for heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.2
Some research studies have found that people who drink wine have a lower risk for heart disease. But red wine may not be the reason.
“It might be that wine drinkers are more likely to have a healthier lifestyle and a healthier diet such as the Mediterranean diet, which is known to be cardioprotective,: says University of Southern California researcher Dr. Robert Kloner.
But the evidence is clear that drinking too much alcohol can be harmful.
If you don’t drink, don’t start.
If you choose to drink, follow these guidelines by the American Heart Association:
Men. No more than two drinks per day.
Women. No more than one drink per day. Zero if pregnant.
A drink is: 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits, or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.
1. Pinto, F., et al. (2022). The impact of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular health: Myths and measures. World Heart Federation. From: https://world-heart-federation.org/wp-content/uploads/WHF-Policy-Brief-Alcohol.pdf
2. American Heart Association. (2019). Drinking red wine for heart health? Read this before you toast. From: https://www.heart.org/en/news/2019/05/24/drinking-red-wine-for-heart-health-read-this-before-you-toast
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