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Should Seniors Drink Wine?

By Kevin McClarren, 9:00 am on

There has been some debate as to whether seniors should have a daily glass of wine with a meal. Though research has revealed there are some health benefits of drinking wine that can help fight certain age-related conditions, many experts believe it should be consumed in moderation because there are some risks as well. Warren caregivers want to share some of the benefits and risks of drinking wine in the senior years.

Promotes Heart Health

Red wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol that helps protect the heart and the arteries surrounding it. This antioxidant aids in negating the effects saturated fats have on the heart, which can lead to a decreased risk of heart attacks and strokes. The alcohol in red wine can also help lower your loved one’s “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.

Lowers Blood Sugar

Both the alcohol and antioxidants in wine can slow the progress of conditions like diabetes. Drinking wine can help lower your loved one’s blood sugar levels by preventing the intestines from absorbing glucose. However, this isn’t a permanent solution because it can also contribute to liver fat buildup.

Helps Prevent Cancer

The polyphenols found in red wine grapes have antioxidant properties that can inhibit the development of certain cancers. A study from Brock and McMaster University revealed red wine slows the spread of lung cancer cells, though it is too early to tell if this would have a significant effect preventing the cancer completely.

Affects Sleep

Though wine can cause a drowsy feeling, seniors who drink wine often have lighter sleep patterns than those who don’t. This is because alcohol disrupts the sleep cycle and shortens REM sleep. A lack of sleep could cause a decrease in your loved one’s energy throughout the day.

Causes Weight Gain

The body digests calories in wine differently than those found in food. Although some seniors might not care about how much they weigh, drinking too much wine can cause significant weight gain. This could lead to more pressure on the heart and organs that need to assist in circulating blood through the body.

To learn more about senior health and wellness, reach out to Home Care Assistance. All of our caregivers are trained in an evidence-based program called the Balanced Care Method, which focuses on healthy lifestyle factors that can increase your loved one’s chances of leading a long, happy, and healthy life. For more information on elder home care Warren families trust, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to request a no-obligation consultation.