For ages, wine has been closely associated with diet, especially in the culture of Mediterranean countries. Red wine, in particular, has been known to promote appetite and health, but only when consumed in moderation. Wine consumption (one to two glasses a day) is associated with decreased incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, including colon, basal cell, ovarian, and prostate carcinoma.1 Many people consume white wine, which does not have the same health benefits as red wine.
In the last 20 years, the maximum alcohol content of wine has shot up from about 13 percent to 17 percent. Some white wines may contain as much as 20 percent alcohol. Although Americans consume more red wine than white wine, according to the statistics, around 40% of the US consumes white wine. Ethanol, commonly called ethyl alcohol, is the principal alcoholic component in wine produced by fermentation of sugars by yeast.2
Here, we look at the negative effects of white wine on our health.
1. Liver Disease
Alcohol is the most frequent cause of liver diseases. Wine contains alcohol and consuming excessive amounts of white wine may cause liver cirrhosis. Wine addiction also deteriorates the performance of the liver by forcing the liver to work overtime. The liver plays a crucial role in filtering blood and removing harmful chemicals and waste from the body. Besides liver cirrhosis, wine addiction also leads to liver inflammation and even liver cancer. In men, daily consumption of wine can put them at the risk of liver cirrhosis.
A recent study shows that consuming more than 30 g of pure alcohol daily, regardless of sex, increases the risk of liver disease.3 Like with most things, moderation is the key and one should not drink more than two glasses of wine a day. Experts recommend drinking red wine since red wine contains more health benefits and fewer side-effects than white wine. Most importantly, alcohol must not be combined with medication as this combination can increase the risk of liver failure. Persons with liver disease must abstain from alcohol completely.
Alcohol consumption may be a risk factor for obesity in some individuals. Five ounces of wine can add about 100 calories and 12 ounces of cooler wine contain about 180 calories. Drinking a glass or two of wine may add roughly about 200 calories. Heavy drinkers often consume more than 2000 calories from wine consumption alone. Drinking wine also increases hunger, which is a temporary effect of the alcohol in wine. When consuming alcohol, avoid eating pizzas, cheese bread, and apple pies, as these foods may increase the absorption of alcohol in the system, leading to the drunk diet. The relationship between alcohol consumption and body weight has been extensively studied. But, the evidence is conflicting and hampered by important limitations that preclude a strong conclusion on the effect of alcohol intake on obesity risk.4
When consuming alcohol, avoid eating pizzas, cheese bread, and apple pies, as these foods may increase the absorption of alcohol in the system, leading to the drunk diet. The relationship between alcohol consumption and body weight has been extensively studied. But, the evidence is conflicting and hampered by important limitations that preclude a strong conclusion on the effect of alcohol intake on obesity risk.5
3. Skin Cancer
Researchers say that white wine contains acetaldehyde, which is a carcinogenic compound. The link between drinking alcohol and developing cancer has been well-studied. In the US, alcohol consumption is associated with approximately 3% of cancer deaths, and alcohol itself is classified as a known human carcinogen. One particular study that analyzed 210,252 individuals prospectively showed a close association between alcohol consumption and melanoma in women compared with men. The study showed that the risk of melanoma increased by 14 percent with each drink per day. In a related study, one of the authors specified white wine as the only drink independently associated with increased risk of melanoma. Antioxidants in red wine offset that risk, making white wine the culprit.6
Rosacea is a common, but poorly understood long-term skin condition that mainly affects the face. According to the US government, around 14 to 16 million Americans suffer from rosacea. Women are more likely than men to develop rosacea. Alcohol is one of the several triggers that have been identified to worsen rosacea.7 8 9
Even small quantities of white wine can increase the chances of developing rosacea as the alcohol content of white wine acts as a vasodilator. A study of 83,000 women showed that just one to three glasses a month raises the risk of developing rosacea by 14 percent. Consuming five or more white wines a week increased that to 49 percent. Consuming over five glasses of white wine regularly doubles the chances of rosacea in women.10
Candida is a type of yeast and is the most common cause of fungal infections worldwide. Evidence shows that candida also produces acetaldehyde. It can use both alcohol and sugars for its energy needs and in turn, produces acetaldehyde. When people suffer from candida infection, their liver enzyme continuously tries to clear the acetaldehyde produced by candida by converting it. When such people consume alcohol, their body converts alcohol to acetaldehyde causing a shortage of enzymes to convert the acetaldehyde that is produced from alcohol breakdown by the body. This causes the acetaldehyde to accumulate and results in toxicity. Alcohol or anything that contains ethanol is bad for candida infection.11
It is well known that alcohol use during pregnancy is linked to birth defects. Consuming as few as four alcoholic drinks a week is associated with a decrease in IVF live birth rate. Epidemiologic studies of spontaneous pregnancies show that women who consume high amounts of alcohol were more likely to have infertility. Also, fecundability (the probability of a woman conceiving during a specific month or menstrual cycle) was decreased among women drinking moderate or heavy amounts of alcohol. The strongest association of men’s intake, pregnancy, and spontaneous abortion was seen when the consumption occurred closest to the time of semen sample collection.12 Some studies found that women with high alcohol consumption took longer to become pregnant. The probability of conception in a menstrual cycle decreased with increasing alcohol intake in women, even among those drinking five or fewer drinks a week.13
The strongest association of men’s intake, pregnancy, and spontaneous abortion was seen when the consumption occurred closest to the time of semen sample collection.14 Some studies found that women with high alcohol consumption took longer to become pregnant. The probability of conception in a menstrual cycle decreased with increasing alcohol intake in women, even among those drinking five or fewer drinks a week.15
Alcohol can trigger and worsen depression symptoms and cause permanent devastating consequences. According to research, alcohol abuse or dependence may increase a person’s risk of developing depression in the first place. One possible explanation is that alcohol may trigger a genetic vulnerability for the disorder. Also, since alcohol is a depressant, it may lead to depressed mood among people who already abuse or depend on alcohol. Moreover, if a family member has had problems with alcoholism or depression, it increases your risk for both disorders.16
8. High BP
Nitric oxide is an important endogenous vasodilator that plays an important role in regulating blood pressure and protecting against pathological vascular damage. The dysfunction of the nitric oxide pathway is involved in the development of many cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension or high blood pressure. It is reported that low concentration of alcohol can promote nitric oxide release from endothelium, while high concentration or chronic consumption of alcohol could impair endothelial function through decreasing nitric oxide bioavailability. The alcohol content in white wine can increase the blood pressure drastically.17 Moreover, because wine is high in calories, excessive consumption can result in unwanted weight gain that is a major cause for high blood pressure.
9. Heart Disease
Heart failure is a major public health issue and it is estimated that about 500,000 Americans are diagnosed with heart failure each year. Alcohol consumption appears to play a role in the development of heart failure. Moderate consumption of wine, especially red wine, may reduce the risk of developing heart disease. One glass of red wine is good for women and men can drink two glasses daily. However, drinking white wine, which does not have the same health benefits as red wine, can cause risks of some cardiovascular problems, such as heart disease. Excessive drinking has been known to lead to alcoholic cardiomyopathy (diseases of the heart muscle).18
|↑1||Arranz, Sara, Gemma Chiva-Blanch, Palmira Valderas-Martínez, Alex Medina-Remón, Rosa M. Lamuela-Raventós, and Ramón Estruch. “Wine, beer, alcohol, and polyphenols on cardiovascular disease and cancer.” Nutrients 4, no. 7 (2012): 759-781.|
|↑2||Isaac-Lam, Meden F. “Determination of Alcohol Content in Alcoholic Beverages Using 45 MHz Benchtop NMR Spectrometer.” International Journal of Spectroscopy 2016 (2016).|
|↑3||Bruha, Radan, Karel Dvorak, and Jaromir Petrtyl. “Alcoholic liver disease.” World journal of hepatology 4, no. 3 (2012): 81.|
|↑4, ↑5||Traversy, Gregory, and Jean-Philippe Chaput. “Alcohol consumption and obesity: an update.” Current obesity reports 4, no. 1 (2015): 122-130.|
|↑6||Roth J Andrew. White Wine and Melanoma: Does Drinking Alcohol Increase Your Cancer Risk? Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 2016.|
|↑7||Rosacea: Signs and Symptoms. American Academy of Dermatology.|
|↑8||Rosacea. NHS Choices.|
|↑9||What Is Rosacea? National Rosacea Society.|
|↑10||White wine linked to rosacea. Brown University. 2017.|
|↑11||Bakker N.D. Eric. Is Alcohol Consumption Connected to Candida? Yeast Infection.org. 2015|
|↑12, ↑14||Rossi, Brooke V., Katharine F. Berry, Mark D. Hornstein, Daniel W. Cramer, Shelley Ehrlich, and Stacey A. Missmer. “Effect of alcohol consumption on in vitro fertilization.” Obstetrics and gynecology 117, no. 1 (2011): 136.|
|↑13, ↑15||Jensen, Tina Kold, Niels Henrik I. Hjollund, Tine Brink Henriksen, Thomas Scheike, Henrik Kolstad, Aleksander Giwercman, Erik Ernst, Jens Peter Bonde, and Niels E. Skakkebæk. “Does moderate alcohol consumption affect fertility? Follow up study among couples planning first pregnancy.” Bmj 317, no. 7157 (1998): 505-510.|
|↑16||Alcohol and Depression. ULifeline.org.|
|↑17||Zhou, Yue, Jie Zheng, Sha Li, Tong Zhou, Pei Zhang, and Hua-Bin Li. “Alcoholic beverage consumption and chronic diseases.” International journal of environmental research and public health 13, no. 6 (2016): 522.|
|↑18||Djoussé, Luc, and J. Michael Gaziano. “Alcohol consumption and heart failure: a systematic review.” Current atherosclerosis reports 10, no. 2 (2008): 117-120.|