THE FRENCH PARADOX - THEY DRINK, THEY EAT, THEY LIVE LONGER
The 'French paradox' was first identified in a study published in 1819 by an Irish doctor called Samuel Black.
He compared the difference in the rates of angina found in French and Irish populations and attributed the lower French rates to the ‘French Style of Living’
Almost 200 years later, we remain uncertain as to precisely why, despite a diet stuffed with cream, butter, cheese and meat, just 10 per cent of French adults are obese, compared with our 22 per cent, and America's colossal 33 per cent. On average, even with their love of tobacco, the French live longer too, and have lower death rates from coronary heart disease (CHD) - in spite of those artery-clogging feasts of cholesterol and saturated fat. Extensive epidemiological studies have begun to narrow down the possibilities. Certainly red wine and olive oil have been identified as probable contributors to the ‘Paradox’.
It is believed that red wine may work on the cardiovascular system in three principal ways.
§ ‘Free Radicals’ are bad molecules circulating in the body and these aggravate the bad cholesterol known as low density lipoproteins (LDLs), making them more likely to damage the walls of arteries. This increases the probability of heart attacks. Red wine contains compounds called polyphenols, which have anti-oxidant properties thought to counteract these ‘Free Radicals’
§ Red wine, and indeed alcohol itself, has been shown to cause higher levels of the good cholesterol, HDL. It is not known exactly how alcohol has this effect, but it has been shown by a number of independent studies.
§ Some studies have suggested that alcohol has the effect of increasing bleeding time and reducing clotting, possibly by reducing the stickiness of platelets. Platelets are small cells that circulate in the bloodstream and play a vital role in initiating the process of blood clotting, necessary for stopping bleeding from cuts. However, clotting inside the body may block blood vessels and lead to a stroke or a heart attack.
However, as always the key to maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle is moderation and that is no less true of alcohol, where overindulgence may lead to an increase in the risk of CHD and stroke, amongst other diseases.
The overwhelming evidence being gathered is causing some experts to ask not whether moderate consumption of alcohol is good for your health, but whether abstinence is hazardous to it? A survey of half a million Americans over a nine-year period, published in 1997 by the American Cancer Society, found the risk of dying of any cause—what medical statisticians call “total mortality”—was 21 percent lower for moderate drinkers than for teetotaller.
The increasing body of evidence on wine's health benefits has led to a renewed appetite around the world for the product of the vine. Since the fifties, the number of wine-producing countries has jumped from 40 to 74 and production has risen by 85 percent to meet an increasing demand around the world.
For further detail contact Frank Caddy 028 9042 2349 E: firstname.lastname@example.org