Is wine good for you? Bad for you? Both? Neither? It's not surprising that consumers are confused, given the onslaught of serious news and propaganda on both sides of the issue.
We hear of the "French Paradox" and sip wine for our heart's sake. Then we avoid it for fear of fetal alcohol syndrome ... but regain hope when we read that wine in moderation may guard against Alzheimer's Disease. Will wine rot your brain and liver? Or see you gently into a hearty old age? Who knows?
Most of us, of course, conclude that moderation is the key, and enjoy our wine without obsessing about its hazards or its benefits. But when you want to dig into the details - and find information that's not influenced by hype or hysteria - there's no better place to turn than the Website of AWARE, the American Wine Alliance for Research and Education.
This non-profit organization (whose chairman, John Juergens, is a good friend and WineLoversPage.com contributor) monitors and assembles scientific, peer-reviewed articles about wine and health.
Essentially an information clearinghouse, AWARE describes itself as "dedicated to providing a balanced view of beverage alcohol's role in society with respect to alcohol and health-related issues through the dissemination of scientific research information and the development of educational programs for health professionals, and to providing an international resource center on alcohol and health issues." It pursues these lofty goals through public symposiums, a speaker's bureau and information database as well as its Websites.
And what a wealth of information those Websites provide: Articles addressing dozens of wine-and-health questions, from sulfite labeling to alcohol and pregnancy to the potential benefits of wine ("Moderate alcohol consumption has been associated, in almost every study that has examined it, with a lower risk of heart attacks and sudden death").
Scores of bibliography references and abstracts are frequently updated, covering such arcane information as "the relationships of alcohol with lipid, lipoprotein and haemostatic variables" and such down-to-earth studies as "Getting problem women to drink less."
There's no commercial or ideological agenda here, just straight science and a broad clearinghouse of information. Whether you're researching a specific issue or just browsing, I think you'll enjoy a visit to AWARE. You'll want to bookmark both locations,
and Dr. Juergens's site,
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Thursday, March 7, 2002
Copyright 2002 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.