1. Alcohol-free wine can help blood sugar

    The benefits of wine -- without the alcohol

    If you drink because of the supposed health benefits of booze, I've got some sobering news for you today: You can get all those benefits -- and more -- without touching a drop of alcohol.

    It's true.

    For example, red wine lowers blood sugar. We know that -- but it's not because of its alcoholic content. It's because of all the great polyphenols and antioxidants in the drink, including resveratrol.

    Now, a new study proves it again as researchers find that wine without the alcohol is just as good as regular wine when it comes to blood sugar control.

    Researchers asked 67 men with a high risk of heart problems to spend four weeks drinking either gin, red wine, or dealcoholized red wine. Then, they spent four weeks drinking one of the other drinks… and four more weeks drinking the third beverage.

    Both red wine and the dealcoholized red wine had the same effect on insulin resistance, lowering it by up to 30 percent when compared to their levels at the start of the study, and up to 22 percent compared to the gin drinkers.

    That's not the only way the healthy compounds in wine can help you. In another study I told you about recently, the same resveratrol that can help reduce insulin resistance helped reduce hemoglobin A1c levels and lower blood pressure levels in patients with type-2 diabetes.

    And in that study, the patients didn't drink any wine at all -- they used supplements. I know I talk about the importance of getting nutrition from diet, but in this case supplements are actually better -- and not just because they're alcohol-free.

    It's because wine itself actually contains only very low levels of resveratrol and other antioxidants. Enough to get a benefit, sure -- but the real benefits found in many studies come from the much higher levels that you can only get from a quality supplement.

    Bottom line here is that you can feel free to have an occasional drink -- as long as you understand that there's always a chance any benefits will be offset by the risks. And if you're really just interested in those benefits, get them without the booze.

  2. Alcohol can cancel out wine's heart benefits

    Wine without alcohol is better for your heart

    We've heard a lot about the supposed benefits of booze over the years, especially wine -- so much that I worry people might actually start to drink because they think it's healthy.

    And that's simply not the case.

    There are much better ways to get the health benefits people associate with drinking, and a new study makes my case perfectly by showing how alcohol-free wine is better for your heart than the real thing.

    In a series of tests, 10 ounces of alcohol-free red wine lowered blood pressure in men with either diabetes or three risk factors for heart disease.

    Those levels fell by an average of 6 points on the systolic ("top number") and 2 points on the diastolic ("bottom number"), or enough to lower the risk of heart disease by 14 percent and stroke by 20 percent, statistically speaking.

    When the same men spent four weeks drinking regular wine, on the other hand, their BP levels barely budged. And when they drank gin, their BP levels didn't change at all.

    This study offers some pretty clear evidence that the heart-healthy benefits often attributed to booze in general aren't from the alcohol -- they're from the polyphenols and antioxidants found in wine, and that the alcohol can actually cancel out most if not all of those benefits.

    But if you really want to give yourself a boost, don't waste your time with wine -- alcohol-free or otherwise. Many of the studies on resveratrol and the other nutrients in wine use very high levels of the stuff -- so high that you'd have to drink hundreds of glasses a day to get those same amounts.

    Normally, I'm all for getting nutrients from diet. But in this case, it's not only impossible -- it would be dangerous or deadly to even try. So if you want resveratrol or any of the other nutrients in wine, don't get them from a wineglass.

    Get them from a quality supplement instead.

  3. One more reason to drink beer

    In fact, you can get just about all the benefits of wine and then some from plain old beer -- and the latest research confirms that a cold brew is every bit as good for your heart as a glass of red.
  4. Get wine benefits from your wine

    One of the best things about enjoying the health benefits of red wine is the wine itself. So naturally, some researchers are trying to spoil the party -- because a new study looks at the benefits of the polyphenols in red wine... when taken without the actual wine.
  5. Shrinks want seniors to stop drinking

    If you're a senior and you had a drink or two last night, you had way too much. That's ridiculous, of course -- but that's the warning from a group of buzz-killing British shrinks, who claim that booze intake should be limited to just 1.5 units of alcohol a day for seniors.

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