Smokers who may be concerned about the health effects caused by cigarettes may have a saving grace: red wine. A new study by a team of researchers from the German University of Saarland recently found that drinking a glass or two of red wine before smoking a cigarette can relieve quite a few of tobacco’s short-term negative effects. The study was published in the American Journal of Medicine on Tuesday.
The study monitored the effects red wine had on 20 young and healthy adult non-smokers. All of the participants smoked three cigarettes, but only half of the group had a glass of red wine before smoking. Through urine and blood samples researchers discovered wine stopped the body from releasing microparticles from smoking that caused damage to artery walls, platelets and white blood cells. The researchers said the prevention of microparticles was due to the high phenol concentration in red wine.
The study found that red wine had a positive effect on another biochemical processed produced by smoking. Participants who did not drink red wine before smoking had a 56 percent decrease in telomerase activity. Telomeres are considered the protective caps on chromosomes that begin to shorten and lose their protective ability over time. However, smoking causes the telomeres to lose their strength at a more rapid rate.
The doctors said more research would have to be conducted, but said that the findings show red wine could be a proactive way to combat the effects of smoking.
There are several other health benefits in drinking a glass of wine. A study by Oregon State’s College of Agricultural Studies found that drinking a glass of red wine not only helped reduce body fat but it also led to lower blood sugar. The study said that ellagic acids that form inside vineyard grapes help delay the growth of fat cells while simultaneously slowing down the development of new fat cells.
Other studies have shown that wine can reduce type 2 diabetes, and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.