New research performed at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center has found that consumption of 1 glass of wine per day may improve kidney health and help lower risks of cardiovascular disease in patients already suffering from chronic kidney disease.
The study examined data collected between 2003 and 2006 on nearly 6,000 subjects, 1,000 of which were suffering from chronic kidney disease. Over 26 million Americans suffer from chronic kidney disease, which is often caused by diabetes and high blood pressure and has long been known to be a risk factor for heart problems. Because of this, the study examined two questions:
Does moderate drinking help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in those already suffering from chronic kidney disease, and whether it can also help prevent chronic kidney disease in the first place.
The results of the study confirm the researchers’ initial suspicions: drinking 1 glass of wine per day lowers risks of developing chronic kidney disease by 37 percent and heart problems in those already suffering from it by 29 percent.
While the researchers haven’t yet pinned down why drinking small amounts of wine provide this protective effect, they do know that moderate wine consumption is associated with lower levels of protein in the urine. In people with kidney disease, elevated urine protein levels are associated with an increase in the severity of the condition.
As for it’s protective effects on the heart, researchers believe wine’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may be responsible.
While the study itself didn’t differentiate between red and white wine, researchers believe red wine is likely to be more effective as prior studies have shown moderate consumption of red wine to have a beneficial impact on cardiovascular health.
The researchers stress that the study was not designed to show an indisputable cause-and-effect relationship, but only to establish a correlation between drinking habits and kidney health. Also stressed is the necessity for moderate consumption, as heavy alcohol consumption has long been known to damage the heart and kidneys.
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