Wine IS good for you

As long as it is red wine drunk in moderation

Or so says author Roger Corder in  ‘The Red Wine Diet‘                                                                  .(photo Charlie Hopkinson)

During a recent talk to the Guild of Health Writers (not a group whom one can pull wool over eyes, although not averse to a good glass of wine), Roger gave the low-down on recent research – or what he called The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

His talk ranged through the sayings of Paracelsus (16th century Physician) who said wine could be a food, a medicine and a poison – it was just a question of dose.  Then went on to highlight recent research, and to analyse just what it meant to the ordinary drinker.

Then proceeded to give a fascinating insight in to just what a sensibledaily  ‘dose’ or unit should be, for male and female drinkers.

There was no doubt that binge drinking was one of the worst things that has happened to our health recently, and it might even be a cause of the increase in Breast Cancer.  But the next fascinating fact that came up was that Europeans, although they drink too – were probably healthier, as it is believed that drinking with meals (provided the food they were eating was healthy) was better.  Usually the British will drink between meals.

The more he delved into fascinating ‘wine facts’, the more it seems that any wine lover should keep a copy of Roger’s book, The Wine Diet, to hand.  (Obtainable from

Research had proven that red wine gives better protection against strokes, but it is also important to buy your wine from vineyards that follow certain principles.  Roger goes in to this in the book, but on the whole, wine lovers are better off buying from wine merchants who know their vineyards – rather than supermarkets.

Now – the most important fact that everyone at the talk wanted to know – how much CAN I drink?

And the answer was around one unit per woman per day – two units per man.  And don’t scream, these are average units based on all sorts of complicated fractions which boil down to average weight and height – so there!

One unit = small glass = 125 ml for your average wine glass – but then things get complicated according to the % of alcohol – see

Or look it up in the book.  Which contains some quoteable facts about wine with which to baffle friends.  And says that Roger is now looking (fondly) at apples, cranberries, cinammon and thank heavens – dark chocolate and cocoa!   As soon as his research comes out about this essential foodstuff (to me at least) I will let you know.

Background to The Red Wine Diet

Over the past decade his main interest has been the links between diabetes and heart disease. This led him to focus on the importance of a holistic approach to improving health and wellbeing through diet, and sparked his research on the health benefits of red wine consumption.

Identification of procyanidins (a type of flavonoid polyphenol) as the active component in red wine, and recognition that cranberries and cocoa products are also rich sources of these protective plant chemicals further intensified his interest in the health benefits of polyphenol-rich foods and beverages.

Roger decided to write a book on these vital issues to widen understanding of the benefits of regular moderate consumption of red wine, and to promote the importance of optimal nutrition for better long-term health.

He also wanted to expose some of the diet myths and advice promoted in recent years by giving detailed nutrition guidelines for optimal health, which he hopes is an enticing formula for combining good food and wine in order to live a healthier longer life.

About the author
Roger grew up in on a dairy farm in Somerset, became a BSc in pharmacy at the School of Pharmacy, Portsmouth and registered as a pharmacist in 1978 (Member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain).  He then took up a career in medical research at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, then over to the Dept of Medicine, University of Geneva;  returned to London to work with Nobel Laureate Sir John Vane in the William Harvey Research Institute. He became Professor of Experimental Therapeutics in 2000. Since 2000 he has also been chairman of the management committee of the William Harvey Research Foundation.

Roger is a professional member of the American Heart Association, and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. In the UK he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, and a member of the Society for Endocrinology, and the British Pharmacological Society.

And I found his talk fascinating, even though I am a teetotaler.  But I shall be able to bore my friends with my knowledge, knowing that I know what I am talking about – thanks to Roger!

One thought on “Wine IS good for you

  1. Ron March 2, 2011 at 9:31 am Reply

    first of all, it is great to learn not everything fun is bad for you 🙂 second, wine also gives the best “high”, nothing like being tipsy after a glass or two

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