Sunday, 18 February 2018

Believe grape expectations

(letter to the Editor - Sunday Times Ireland - 18th February 2018)

With reference to your article 

 I must point out that according to the Mediterranean diet pyramid, the moderate consumption of red wine (1-2 glasses per day) is recommended. Blue-zone people - those in longevity hotspots, where people reach the age of 100, actually do consume wine and beer.

.       From a food chemistry and nutritional point of view, all fermented alcoholic drinks have positive health impact when consumed in moderation. The French Paradox (where people in France, despite the high dietary intake of fats, have low incidence of heart diseases) explains this phenomenon due to nutritional value of red wine. On the other hand, distilled alcoholic drinks have no nutritional value whatsoever. This is a crucial point that needs to be highlighted: fermentation has a positive nutritional impact whereas distillation has only negative ones. 
   So,on what basis, does the Health Minister ignore all this strong scientific evidence and propose a cancer-related labelling on wines?

   Dr Ioannis Zabetakis

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