Red wine fights gum disease

Quebec: Chemicals in red wine may help reduce gum disease, scientists at the Universite de Laval have discovered.

The reason is that red wine contains polyphenols, chemicals which give red wine its colour, help reduce the periodontitis, the damaging disease which attacks the gums and bone surrounding teeth.

It is estimated that 65 per cent of adults aged over 50 and 15 of younger people have the disease which in its worst form leads to tooth loss.

It is caused by a combination of bacteria and free radicals – harmful oxygen molecules – in the mouth. When you drink red wine, the polyphenols interfere with this process and can reduce damage to the gums, scientists say. In laboratory tests, polyphenols were found to combine with the free radicals and render them harmless.

The research by scientists from Universite Laval in Quebec, Canada, is published in the latest edition of the U.S. Journal of Dental Research.

Lead researcher Dr Vanessa Houde presented the findings at the American Association for Dental Research in Orlando, Florida, yesterday.

Previous research has discovered that red wine has many health-giving properties.

Last October, researchers found drinking it may help to ward off lung cancer. UK doctors have even recommended red wine to heart-attack patients, after evidence emerged of its benefits for the cardiovascular system.

Scientists are also developing a pill which they hope will harness the healthy anti-oxidant properties of red wine without the alcohol.

Polyphenols are also found in green tea, fresh fruit and vegetables, which have all been found to lower the risks of cancer and heart disease.

The chemicals are thought to help get rid of free radicals which are believed to trigger the illnesses.

Polyphenols are also known to hamper the inflammatory process which leads the hardening of the arteries and other disorders.

Health benefits of alcohol may be wrong

Auckland: Researchers in New Zealand say that a daily glass of wine, long recommended as beneficial for heart disease, may have the opposite effect.

They say previous research failed to allow for the fact that people who stop drinking because of heart problems may be included in studies and misclassified as never having consumed alcohol. This would result in the misleading impression that small amounts of alcohol consumed regularly protect against heart disease.

The latest analysis, reported in the medical magazine, The Lancet, contrasts with the prevalent opinion in France, where a daily glass of wine is seen as part of a healthy way of life.

One influential study recently suggested having up to three drinks a day, each containing about ten grams of alcohol, could reduce heart attack risk by a quarter.

But Dr Rod Jackson, who led the latest study, says any benefit from light to moderate drinking is probably small and unlikely to outweigh the harm caused by alcohol. He says the first studies showing the protective effect of alcohol were published in the 1970s and 1980s. These early observations were confirmed by a meta-analysis – a pooling together of findings from different studies, which indicated a 20 per cent to 25 per cent cut in heart disease risk linked to light drinking. But sDr Jackson of the University of Auckland claims these studies failed to avoid confounding errors that gave misleading results.

For instance, a study published this year involving 200,000 U.S. adults found 27 of 30 cardiovascular risk factors were significantly more common in non- drinkers than light to moderate drinkers.

Such risk factors, already present in study participants, could sway the results, it is suggested.

If anything, the evidence of heart protection is more convincing for heavy drinkers, say the Auckland experts.

Post-mortem studies show alcoholics have relatively ‘clean’ arteries, but the risks of alcohol abuse for these people greatly outweighed any benefit from drinking.

Alcohol abuse harms almost every organ in the body, causing problems such as cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, stomach bleeding, high blood pressure, stroke, nerve damage, osteoporosis and dementia.

Dr Jackson said: ‘Any coronary protection from light to moderate drinking will be very small and unlikely to outweigh the harms.’

Super anti-ageing foods



Skin food rich in monounsturates – fattening – only contains 190 cals in an average fruit. Rich in potassium, Vitamin E, carotene, folic acid, B5, Biotin and vitamin C, plus iodine.


Rich in anthocyanidins – a flavonoid, which helps protect eyes from macular degeneration. Anthocyanidins are present in all berries colour purple/blue. Eat daily.

Brazil Nut

Selenium – deficiency of which is linked to cancer. Boosts immune system and helps healthy thyroid function. Other nuts almonds and hazel nuts plus seeds such as flax, sesame and sunflower.

Cruciferous vegetables

Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, cress horseradish, kale johlrabi, mustard greens, radish and turnip – contain substances that help liver deal with toxins and cancer protecting. Protects against colon cancer. Try to eat grated raw or juiced.

Brewers Yeast

B vitamins as well as chromium to regulate blood sugar levels


Rich in protein, minerals and oil fish such as sardines, mackerel, herring, salmon, tuna, shark and swordfish are rich in essential fatty acids.


Contains compounds that help prevent cancer and heart disease.

Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil contains monounsaturates which are good for the heart.


A grain protein that contains far richer in nutrients than wheat – calcium, iron, B vitamins and vitamin E.

Shitake Mushrooms

Contain lentinan, an immunity booster as well as Vitamin D, calcium, phosphorous and amino acids.


One of richest sources of calcium and minerals.


Contains beneficial plant oestrogens – phytoestrogens – help prevent breast cancer during child bearing years. In menopause can help make up deficient oestrogen levels. Go for tofu and soya milk.


Contain lutein and lycopene that particularly help the health of the eyes.

Red wine

Red wine the elixir of life for human cells

Resveratrol and similar compounds, known as polyphenols and found in fruit, vegetables and olive oil as well as wine, appear to activate enzymes, called sirtuins, that have been shown to prolong life in yeast and in roundworms.

Professor David Sinclair, of Harvard Medical School, said that in experiments withhuman cells, the proportion that survived blasts of gamma
radiation rose from 10 per cent to 30 per cent when treated with resveratrol, indicating that it had improved cell repair.

Resveratrol has been famed for its antioxidant properties, which experts believe help it to prevent cancer and clear clogged arteries. But Dr Konrad Howitzer, of Biomol, a biotech company in Pennsylvania, said: “The sirtuin stimulation provided by certain polyphenols may be a more important biological effect than their antioxidant action.”

The researchers said that preliminary work with flies and worms had been encouraging, and studies involving mice were planned. They were also
investigating whether synthetic versions of the molecules had similar effects. In any case, most people would prefer red wine as a life-preserver.
The dark red skins of the grape are particularly rich in the colourings called flavonoids, which are thought to act as antioxidants, delaying the onset of certain cancers. Red wine, especially from grapes such as pinot noir, is rich in resveratrol, which lowers the bad kind of cholesterol and raises the good kind, helping to protect against heart disease.


Calcium and healthy bacteria to aid digestive flora.