Thursday, April 7, 2016

Book Review: Age Gets Better With Wine by Richard A. Baxter, M.D.

Age Gets Better With Wine by Richard A. Baxter, M.D.
In 1974, after the Framingham Heart Study had been in progress for more than 25 years, a report on the factors related to deaths from coronary disease was prepared. Few were expecting the data to reveal a strong reduction in the odds of dying from heart disease with moderate alcohol consumption. Prevailing wisdom was that the reverse would be the case. The American psyche just wasn't ready, and in many quarters there is still resistance to the concept of alcohol as a good thing. Unlike the tradition of wine as a food in Europe, in America the underpinnings of crime and corruption of the prohibition era defined the alcohol legacy.

In fact, the findings came as such an unwelcome guest that when the senior staff at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reviewed the data, they demanded that the authors remove it!

Richard A. Baxter, M.D.Age Gets Better With Wine

You see it all the time: wine is beneficial to your health. Well, it is. It's been scientifically proven that alcoholic beverages in general are good for you as long as you drink them in moderation and with food. That's 12-24 ounces of beer, 5-10 ounces of wine, or 1.5 to 2 ounces of spirits a night, almost every night with dinner. The polyphenols in red wine make it the option with the most benefits.

You're more likely to get heart disease or cancer if you don't drink at all. And if you abuse alcohol by going above moderation and get drunk on a regular basis then you're increasing the chance of cancer and a million of other issues even more. It's actually more harmful to not drink all week and binge on weekends, what the average American seems to think is the best option, than to have a glass or two of wine every night.

Most of these people saying that wine is good for you are in the industry or are wine drinkers. So when somebody, like myself, says what I just said then most people think "well, he's just looking for excuses to drink". I really can't blame them because that's exactly what it looks like.

When I started reading AGE GETS BETTER WITH WINE: NEW SCIENCE FOR A HEALTHIER, BETTER & LONGER LIFE (2nd Edition) I was expecting the usual rhetoric and quotes from studies that were picked and chosen for what he wanted to believe. And just look at the title! It looks like it's also going to tell you GMO's are bad and you need to realign your chakra.

Instead what I found was a book that based all of its points on peer reviewed, credible studies with actual evidence. If anything he found hadn't come from legitimate research, whether it helped his point or not, he threw it right out. Dr. Baxter is a plastic surgeon and highly intelligent man that wrote this book for the opposite reasons wine-health literature is usually written: in the search for anti-aging he's found that wine is the answer, rather than in his studies or defense of wine he's found that it's also anti-aging. There's a huge difference in motives there.

This book goes deep (and I mean really deep) into science to prove wine's beneficial properties and why our bodies actually kinda need it. And, along with that, explains why over-doing it is harmful and so different than moderation. It also goes into history many times over to see how our species has actually known wine's benefits for thousands of years.

AGE GETS BETTER WITH WINE is a wine-science-history geek's wet dream. There's a few times that it went way over my head, but mostly Baxter does an excellent job in explaining complicated things in an uncomplicated way. You need to read it.

One of my favorite parts is when he talks about America's inability to understand moderation. Small doses of vitamins are good for you so a whole bunch must be really good for you, which is actually harmful. Large amounts of alcohol are bad for you so any at all must be bad for you, which is totally untrue. That is spot on with anything in my beloved country.


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