In moderation, red wine has long been thought to be heart healthy. The alcohol and antioxidants found in red wine may help prevent coronary artery disease, a condition that leads to heart attacks.


Any associations between red wine and fewer heart attacks are not fully understood. However, antioxidants in red wine may boost levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) and protect against cholesterol buildup.

Polyphenols, which are antioxidants found in red wine, may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. One substance in red wine that has received attention for its health benefits is resveratrol, a polyphenol.


Resveratrol may aid in the prevention of blood vessel damage, the reduction of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), and the prevention of blood clots. Red wine contains resveratrol, which is derived from the skin of grapes used to make wine. It contains more resveratrol than white wine because it is fermented with grape skins for a longer period of time.

Eating grapes or drinking grape juice may be a good way to get resveratrol without consuming alcohol. Red and purple grape juices may have some of the same cardiovascular benefits as red wine. Resveratrol can also be found in peanuts, blueberries, and cranberries. It is unknown how beneficial eating grapes or other foods may be when compared to drinking red wine in terms of promoting heart health. The amount of resveratrol found in food and red wine varies greatly.


Doctors do not advise starting to drink alcohol for cardiovascular benefits, especially if you have a family history of alcoholism. Excessive alcohol consumption can have a number of negative effects on your body. If you already enjoy a glass of red wine with your evening meal, drinking it in moderation appears to be good for your heart.

Several studies have shown that moderate amounts of all types of alcohol, not just red wine, are beneficial to your heart. It is believed that alcohol:

  • Improves HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol)
  • Blood clot formation is reduced
  • Aids in the prevention of artery damage caused by high LDL cholesterol levels (the “bad” cholesterol)
  • It has the potential to improve the function of the layer of cells that lines your blood vessels

Red wine and other alcoholic beverages appear to have potential heart-health benefits. Moderate alcohol consumption, including red wine, appears to be associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

However, studies comparing moderate drinkers to nondrinkers may overestimate the benefits of moderate drinking because nondrinkers may already have health problems. More research is needed to determine whether red wine is better for your heart than other types of alcohol like beer or spirits.


The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute do not recommend starting to drink alcohol to prevent heart disease. Alcohol can be addictive and can cause or exacerbate other health issues. Excessive alcohol consumption increases your risk of:

  • Liver and pancreas diseases
  • Heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Stroke
  • Accidents, violence and suicide
  • Weight gain and obesity

Avoid alcohol completely if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Have a personal or strong family history of alcoholism
  • Suffer from a liver or pancreas disease associated with alcohol consumption
  • Have heart failure or a weak heart
  • Take certain medications

Final Thoughts

If you already drink red wine, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means:

  • Women of all ages may consume up to one drink per day, and men over the age of 65 may consume up to one drink per day
  • Men aged 65 and younger may consume up to two drinks per day. Men have a higher limit because they weigh more than women and have more of an enzyme that metabolizes alcohol

A drink is defined as:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits


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Resveratrol is a potent flavonoid that promotes health via cell signaling and antioxidant effects. As a result, it may aid in the prevention of cell damage, which is thought to be the root cause of aging and other health problems. Resveratrol can help you maintain your youthful vigor and appearance while also supporting your joint and nervous systems.

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