For years we’ve been reading that Wine has lots of health benefits ~ and just when we started to relax and feel comfortable promoting health with each glass of wine served and shared ~ along comes Mark Stengler, ND to throw a wet blanket over the party.
He writes about a newly identified concern for Wine Lovers. A recent British study points out that there are high levels of heavy metal contaminants in many wines ~ and they are definitely not good for your health. Excess intake of metal contaminants is associated with an increased risk for Neurological problems, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Oxidative stress associated with the consumption of metals
is known to raise the risk for Chronic Inflammatory Diseases and Cancer.
The Answer may be in the Grapes and Not in Our Stars ~
In a review of data published in scientific journals, scientists at Kingston University, in the United Kingdom, looked at the concentrations of hazardous metal ions (including copper, vanadium, manganese, nickel and lead) in Red and White Wines from 16 countries in Europe, the Middle East and South America. They evaluated them according to a formula devised by the US Environmental Protection Agency called the Target Hazard Quotient (THQ), which measures risk based upon established upper safety limits for toxic chemicals. The researchers found that the majority of wines (both red and white) placed well above the EPA’s level of acceptable risk, based on what an individual would take in from an average daily consumption of one glass of wine (which they measured at 8.5 ounces).
Not surprisingly, levels of contaminants were closely linked with geography. For instance, metal ions in several Hungarian and Slovakian bottles were more than 300 times higher than accepted safety standards. On the other hand, Wines from Argentina, Brazil and Italy consistently contained low metal levels, therefore posing no metal-related safety concerns. Scientists don’t know yet exactly how it happens that metal ions work their way into wine and why this varies from country to country, but contributing factors may range from soil and vineyard sprays to yeast, processing and packaging. * These results appeared in the October 29, 2008, issue of Chemistry Central Journal.
Imbibe at Your Own Risk ~
If you consume Wine regularly, Dr. Stengler recommends that you get your blood levels tested by a holistic doctor for toxicity. Some people filter out metals from blood more effectively than others. He suggests that you choose Organic Wines or sip vintages from the countries where metal contaminant levels are clearly documented as low. As previously mentioned, Argentina, Brazil and Italy have low levels. Data on metal content of US wines is not yet available.
My friends are surely going to shoot this messenger ~