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Pinot your Pain Away

Written by Dr. Meri Rosco

We often hear about people drinking wine to relieve pain. Believe it or not, there is some science to back up that claim!

The pain relief comes from a compound in the skin of grapes, called resveratrol. This compound is said to have an analgesic effect similar to aspirin. Resveratrol is present in the skin of grapes. Since red wine is fermented with the skin of the grapes longer than white wine, there are more health benefits to drinking red wine over white.

Pinot Noir has been found to have the highest levels of resveratrol out of any wine grape. It also has less sugar and fewer calories compared to other wines. Merlot comes in a close second followed by Cabernet, which also has a lower sugar content.

The University of Greenwich did a study on 400 people that showed a 24% pain reduction after the consumption of two glasses of wine. One theory is that alcohol reduces anxiety, which is linked to pain. Another theory is that pain signals are inhibited by a change in activity of NMDA receptors in the spinal cord. NMDA receptors are a protein found in nerve cells.

Pain relief is not the only benefit you may receive from wine. In fact, resveratrol has been shown to improve heart health by lowering bad cholesterol as well as blood pressure. Some studies even show that resveratrol can improve brain health and insulin sensitivity, which can contribute to a longer life span.

In order to reap the benefits of wine (or any alcoholic beverage), it is recommended that women only drink up to one glass a day, whereas men can have up to two glasses a day. This is considered light to moderate drinking according to the CDC and U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

Light to moderate drinkers compared to nondrinkers and heavy drinkers have reduced markers for inflammation throughout the body. Heavy drinking can lead to increased pain, increased inflammation and even peripheral neuropathy.

Of course, you could take a high-quality resveratrol supplement and skip the wine and negative effects of alcohol altogether. You can also find natural solutions for your pain, such as chiropractic care. Then instead of relying on wine to mask your pain, you can actually sit back and enjoy it. Cheers!

For information on a resveratrol supplement or for a chiropractic evaluation, call us at (704) 895-2240 or shoot us a text at (704) 286-0404.


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