Are you confused about the various heath studies when it comes to wine and breast cancer, heart disease or brain function?
Would you like to know exactly what moderation means when it comes to drinking wine?
That’s exactly what we’re going to discover tonight with our guest this evening who is a gynecologist and obstetrician. He is also part of an international research community that investigates the role of wine in health.
He holds an advanced-level sommelier certificate from the International Wine & Spirits Guild, and he joins me now live from his home office in Arizona.
You won’t want to miss our live video chat with Dr. Edward Miller, a leading member of an International Wine Research Community about breast cancer, nursing, heart disease, dementia, and other issues.
Ask your questions or just listen to a fascinating discussion
Watch previous episodes of the Sunday Sipper Club (SSC) and find out who’s coming up next.
If you’d like to read the comments for this tasting, or make a comment yourself, visit:
Here’s a sampling from to 108 comments of our lively discussion from our tasting:
Cisplatino Progreso Tannat 2014
Robert Mondavi Winery Private Selection Bourbon Barrels Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Monterey County, California, United States
Drumheller Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Columbia Valley, Washington, United States
Dr. Edward Miller is a board-certified physician. A clinician, author, & researcher, he has been passionate about wine since taking a wine appreciation course 30 years ago during medical school. He is a regular attendee at The International Wine-Heart Health Summits and a member of The Renaud Society, an international society of medical professionals investigating the role of wine in health.
Dr. Miller is an advanced-level certified wine sommelier from the International Wine & Spirits Guild. He and his wife are practicing physicians in southeast Arizona.
Sella & Mosca Di Sardegna Riserva Cannonau 2014
– Are you confused when it comes to all of the health studies and findings about wine and health? We’ve heard about drinking wine can increase your risk of breast cancer, maybe it decreases it, maybe it has no impact, what is the latest news? Similarly we hear about wine and heart disease of course, diabetes, dementia, longevity, there’s just so much out there, and of course we also are curious, I am for sure, what is drinking wine in moderation, what exactly is that? Is it 5 ounces of a wine that is 12% in alcohol, and why does it differ for men and women, that sort of thing, and why are some wines offering more health benefits than others, and it’s not about resveratrol anymore, just so you know. You thought you knew but maybe you don’t. Well, our guest tonight is going to discuss all of those issues, I’m really excited, but before I introduce him fully, I would like to know in the comments below which aspect of wine and health interests you the most, I’m going to refresh my Facebook page and make sure we’re broadcasting live, but I would love to know, good we already have Lori, and Paul, and Beverly, excellent, you guys can hear and see, so I’m going to post this question, post in the comments below what aspect of wine and health most interests you, because I want to make sure we cover it tonight. Is it breast cancer, is it heart disease, is it dementia, what is it, or just enjoying a more healthful life? Okay, hey Dave Head has joined us as well. Alright, I’m Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site at nataliemaclean.com, and you have joined us here on the Sunday Sipper Club where we meet every Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern, we’ve had a time change this weekend, so some people got warmed up early with their wine while they were waiting for us to log in here, but we are live here now, so that’s Toronto/New York time, and we’ll be here next week and every week after that, with the most intriguing people in the wine world. Truly, some of these conversations are so interesting, and I think tonight is no exception, let me expand upon that. Our guest tonight is an obstetrician and a gynecologist, and he is also part of an international research community that looks at the health benefits as they relate to wine, he also has an Advanced Level Sommelier certificate from the International Wine and Spirits Guild, and he joins me now live from his home in Arizona, welcome Dr. Edward Miller.
– Thank you Natalie, it’s a pleasure to be here.
– Terrific, it’s so good to have you join us, this is going to be such a great topic. Now, I just gave you a very high level intro, fill in the details of what I missed, and maybe tell us a little bit about your personal life.
– Let’s see, the organization that I belong to is the Serge Renaud Society, and Serge Renaud was the French researcher, epidemiologist, from the University of Bordeaux that in 1991 came on 60 Minutes, and the episode was called The French Paradox, and he explained that even though the French eat more fat, they smoke, they don’t jog, they have half the rate of heart disease of North America. And this was, he felt, based on his research, due to the significant difference in red wine consumption, which at the time was 16 gallons per person in France, and two gallons per person in the U.S. He died probably three years ago, but the society lives on in the research, and the meetings that go on keep things going in that regard. And then I got involved very serendipitously by delivering the baby of a cardiologist who was a member of this society, and said, “Ed, you ought to come to our meeting “next year in Napa,” and it’s the researchers from all over the world get together in different wine regions every two years and go over their research.
– Terrific, good introduction delivering the baby, I’m sure that cemented your bond for life, that’s great. Dave, okay, so Lori, people are very interested in heart disease, breast cancer. Lori, “Do the benefits of drinking wine “outweigh the downsides?” Lori, we are going to get there, we are going to answer that question definitively, it’s a yes by the way, but Dr. Miller has so much more to share with us on that. And Dave Head is just asking, “Do you practice integrative medicine? “We follow Dr. Andrew Weil from Arizona.” Don’t know if that’s a question you can address here?
– Yeah, I know him because we’re just outside of Tucson, and Andrew Weil has been there for forever. I myself I think just practice traditional obstetrics and gynecology, and not what Andrew Weil is doing.
– Sure, sure, absolutely, but you’re very up on all of these health benefits. Courtney Flood, “I sure hope the outcome of this interview “is that we should be drinking wine.” Courtney, you’re going to be pleased. This is a very pro-wine group of course, they just want to get reinforced with what they’re doing. Now just high level, you have a Facebook group, I believe, Dr. Miller, that says, drink wine, but not too much or not too little, am I sort of, what’s the official title?
– Yeah, it is don’t drink too much, but don’t drink too little, it’s not healthy. And that’s key, not drinking too much but also not drinking at all puts you at a significant health disadvantage.
– It’s a stronger risk. You’ve sent me your presentation on this subject, and I’m going to bring up a slide that you may not be able to see right now, but it’s from your deck, and it’s got these people drinking from very large wine glasses. That was a hilarious slide, I love it. So doctors recommend one glass of wine per day, tell us then what in your mind is moderation?
– One to three beverages per day, there are, as we’ll get into, there’s benefits to just alcohol, and then we’ll further look at are there benefits of wine beyond the alcohol it contains. And so a drink of alcohol is a one-and-a-half ounce shot glass of a spirit, a 12-ounce beer, or a five-ounce glass of wine, and so one to three servings per day is the sweet spot.
– Alright, so that’s good. Now, how much does this change based on what the percentage alcohol is in the wine? We’ve got German Riesling perhaps clocking in at 7, 8% alcohol, and then you can have these Australian enamel rippers at 16% alcohol, does that change the equation of what a glass means, or a unit, a serving of alcohol is when it comes to wine?
– I don’t think so, certainly sobriety-wise it does, because the example you gave would be twice, you’d be consuming twice as much alcohol with the big Shiraz, but I have not seen studies break it down and that, but I think most of the studies involving wine, people aren’t sipping Rieslings, they’re sipping higher alcohol content wines.
– Okay, so we don’t need to get caught up in the nuances of say a 12, 13% Bordeaux and a 16% Australian Shiraz, it’s still going to be two to three glasses of five ounces, approximately, for a moderation.
– One to three.
– One to three, I said two to three, see I’m already trying to push it up. These people are encouraging me, it’s not me. Stephen Andrews is here, welcome Stephen, and Lise Charest, hello. Excellent, I’m glad we’ve got no echo, everything’s working, thank you tech gods. And why does it differ, or does it differ in your mind, for men and women? You’ve got one to three glasses as moderation, does that apply equally to men and women?
– No, the women would definitely be at the one to two for optimal health benefits, and there’s a few reasons for that. Body weight is one of them, but let’s just say you’re comparing 150-pound woman to a 150-pound man, there are two major differences in women, which is pound for pound they’re a higher percentage of fat, or in other words there’s a lower percentage of water in a woman’s body compared to a man, and alcohol, ethanol being water-soluble, goes into the water where it is diluted, and if you have less water available in your body, as the average woman does, it doesn’t get as diluted. And the other, there’s about a 50% difference in the amount of the enzyme, the stomach enzyme and liver enzyme that metabolizes alcohol, men compared to women, that’s called alcohol dehydrogenase, but there’s a significant difference in the amount, so women do not metabolize alcohol as rapidly as the average male does.
– Okay, so we’re looking at one to two glasses of wine per day for women in moderation, two to three maybe for men, or one to three, it’s not like they can–
– Or one to three bottles for men.
– It’s a joke.
– That’s medical humor yes, and probably we should mention this, I don’t know if you do this when you’re giving presentations, but of course everybody is different, what we are talking about tonight is not prescribing anything for anybody, everybody is different, talk to your personal doctor about your own health conditions. All that disclaimer we usually have when it comes to talking about health, this is just information for your consideration, we’re not suggesting anybody start or stop doing things depending on your own body chemistry.
– Definitely and there’s people that shouldn’t drink.
– Right, and who are they, other than of course people who can’t control their consumption, but I would assume pregnant women, what other categories would fall into that?
– Obviously those with a history of alcohol abuse, those with liver damage, be it hepatitis, cirrhosis, any of those things, and there’s more exotic conditions where their physician may have told them alcohol’s not going to work for you.
– Absolutely, and I would assume some medications don’t mix well with alcohol. Floyd Curtis is asking, “How many glasses of wine “will improve one’s dancing ability?” Do you mean Floyd, actual improvement of your dancing ability, or you think your dancing ability has improved? I think he’s showing a bit of humor there too.
– I think tequila actually improves the dancing better.
– Ah right, it gets you faster out on the dance floor, that’s for sure, absolutely. Lise is asking, “That’s why I hydrate big time on Friday.” Is there something about, I’ve heard this prescription, have a glass of wine or alcohol and a glass of water, try to keep them equal consumption, does that help significantly in terms of balancing the alcohol level in your bloodstream?
– Definitely, it helps with that, and that is basically, it’s not a medical rule but it’s darn near, is that you have one glass of water for each adult beverage serving that you have throughout the night. And part of that, besides helping keep your alcohol level lower because the alcohol dilutes itself in water, is that alcohol itself dehydrates, it inhibits, you told me not to get too technological, but alcohol actually blocks a hormone and the result of that is that kidneys release more water from the body, so alcohol itself is dehydrating.
– It’s a diuretic, it will flush water out of the system, okay.
– No, that’s not getting… Marcia joins us and her mum is watching too, there’s a lot of interest in this topic. That’s really interesting, the whole water thing ties into why women shouldn’t have as much alcohol because our body composition is less water, but also drinking water will help balancing that level of alcohol in your bloodstream. And perhaps, does it help with the next day, not hangover, but that brain dehydration, if you’ve hydrated more throughout the evening will you get less of a headache? I know you’ll always get more of a headache if you’ve drank too much, so there’s no avoiding that, but if you’ve had the water.
– Yes, yes, to answer your question, keeping well-hydrated is going to reduce your, is going to make your next morning feel all that much better.
– Right. I always think about it, queasy like Sunday morning, one of those theme songs we don’t want to play. Brent Patino, “Is there a grape variety “that is better than others in regards to health benefits?” Nice segue way Brent, so here we are, we’ve spoken briefly about this. Let’s first talk about resveratrol versus this other compound. Some of us are familiar with resveratrol, that is a natural grape compound found in the skins of wine? Is that?
– Yes. Yeah, the skins and seeds.
– Okay, so we’ve heard about that being health beneficial, but it turns out it’s not so much, why is that?
– Well, it looks like there’s a lot of legit research going on right now, like at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, they’re big time evaluating the anti-cancer, anti-atherosclerosis, anti-inflammatory effects that had been seen in lower lifeforms, yeast, rats, roundworms, things like that, but the dose that they’re using is 200 to 1,000 times more than is contained in a bottle of wine. That, and various other research, we know that resveratrol, in the amounts that are present in a bottle of wine, one to five milligrams, do not have the vascular effects, they don’t have any vascular effects in the amounts that are found in a bottle of wine.
– So in other words, I forget what the number was, but you’d have to drink 1,000 bottles of wine, and then you’d kill yourself.
– Literally you’d have to drink, yeah, because they’re giving 1 to 2,000 milligram doses in this research in capsules, and that would equal, that would work out to 1,000 bottles of wine a day.
– Wow, and why not then just take resveratrol pills, would that have the effect?
– Well, it’s just premature to say that, that’s what most people are hoping, and that’s what the NIH is working on, and there don’t seem to be side effects so far from taking massive doses of resveratrol.
– Right, okay, fair enough. So the compound though that does have the most exciting potential in wine is called what?
– It’s a small group of the polyphenols, the big long name is oligomeric procyanidins, or OPCs for short.
– I like the acronym, OPC, okay.
– OPCs, and those, they’re present in abundance in red wines, they have on… Individual isolated arteries and things, they are very active on arteries as far as dilating, or opening them up, and preventing atherosclerosis, and they do it in the amounts that are clearly present in a bottle of wine, and that’s why we think these are the agents that are most beneficial, and why wine has more of a benefit than just the alcohol it contains. We know a separate pathway, alcohol improves cardiovascular, and reduces deaths by making the blood a little thinner, and also increasing the so-called good cholesterol in the body. The procyanidins work through a different mechanism directly in the arterial wall where they prevent atherosclerosis, and dilate the artery.
– Okay, so we’ve got the blood thinning from the alcohol, but the OCPs are actually widening the veins, so widening those lane ways to get more traffic, blood traffic through.
– They’re both working through separate pathways to achieve a good thing, and while nobody has randomized people yet to drink high procyanidin-content wines versus low procyanidin, as you’re aware, there’s research from Sardinia and southwest France that just emperically the wines that they drink there locally seems to afford them longevity, and these are high procyanidin-content wines.
– Okay, alright. That is so fascinating. Just picking up on some of the comments here, Lise says, “With wine being so huge I’m not surprised at all “by all this research.” And Floyd says, “On the serious side, as I get older “I seem less able to handle the after effects of red wine “than I used to.” Okay, Floyd is asking about organic wine, hold that thought Floyd, because we’re going to continue on this but I love that question. Okay, so it’s not about resveratrol, it’s about these other polyphenols that are present in a single bottle of wine, so that you can get the health benefits without killing yourself with 1,000 bottles. Let’s answer the question that I believe Stephen Andrews asked earlier, which wines have high concentrations, or the highest concentrations, of these really good polyphenols?
– The research that I mentioned in those two locations, where people did, well Sardinia, it’s a Cannonau, which I believe you’re going to be pouring tonight, which probably very few people have heard of, and then in southwest France the varietal is a Tannat.
– Tannat, I’ve got both of those, mine’s from Uruguay.
– And based on Professor Corder, Roger Corder’s research out of London, he has sampled 818 different wines that people donate to him, and he’s come up with the average procyanidin content in each of these wines, and other than Tannat, the super high procyanidin-content wines are not ones that are widely-available in North America. Sagrantino and Aglianico are probably the highest procyanidin-content wines there are.
– We’re talking about really tannic wines, they’ve got lots of flavor, a very dark fruit, so why don’t lighter reds, and whites, but let’s deal with lighter reds first like Pinot Noir and Gamay, why don’t they have a lot of this compound?
– Well I think the one thing that these high procyanidin-content wines have is you can almost correlate it with how tannic they are, and extremely tannic wines are not sippable wines, those are food wines, and so you need to either sit on them for a decade or two, which nobody really does, or you’ve got to enjoy them with the fatty food, as they do in the mountainous region of Sardinia where they eat goats, and cheese, and high fat stuff, they’re not on a Mediterranean diet at all. And in southwest France, where the Tannat is, and they’re experiencing all those longevity, they’re having cassoulet, foie gras, french fries are cooked in duck fat, lots of butter, it’s a very high fat diet. As your audience knows, the way you cut through tannins is have some fat with it.
– Absolutely, they dance together, one balances the other. Okay, so, and these–
– I guess to answer, to really get back to the Pinot Noir and Gamay things, what has to happen, and you could probably make any red, most red varietals high procyanidin, is the procyanidins don’t really start getting extracted until about the time fermentation’s complete, it takes the alcohol to extract the procyanidins from the seeds and skins, and most wines just stop it there, they’re done, they get it out of the tank. Rather than, for example Tannat is traditionally fermented and macerated for anywhere from 25 to 40 days compared to 7 to 10 days for most wines, so you’re not extracting the procyanidins out of the seeds.
– And the comments are flying by folks, if I miss them please just repost this again, your comment, because again, I just want to keep the conversation going here, but so many comments, that’s great. And what it is about tannin that is life-enhancing, I always heard about resveratrol, it’s the berry trying to fight against disease, protect itself, so therefore it has that protective effect for you, but what is tannin, is it because it’s a preservative therefore it translates into this polyphenol that’s going to protect you and your heart?
– Well, the tannins are a separate polyphenol than the procyanidins, so you can use it as a correlation for the procyanidin content.
– Gotcha, okay, okay, alright. Jane is just joining us with her glass of Willm Gewurztraminer, so why not a, that’s not on trend here Jane, that’s okay, why don’t whites, how about a tannic white, would that not have these OCPs, that good health beneficial polyphenol?
– Well I’m not sure how you would get a tannic white, because whites are immediately separated from their skins and seeds, and so you’re not going to get procyanidin extraction, because usually you do the press, or the crush, and the grape juice and the skins and seeds are separated immediately in white wines.
– I’m just thinking of wood tannins from oak aging.
– I’m not aware of any research, those oak tannins, again, oak tannins aren’t procyanidins.
– Okay, okay, that’s fine. Lise, “I need to invent a new after dinner elixir “brewed up from these seeds and skins that get composted.” Try Grappa. Beverly, “My doctor told me I should only drink “one to two glasses of wine a week. “I was drinking one to two glasses a night, “I wonder why?” That could be specific to you Beverly, I don’t know if you have any comments on that Dr. Miller?
– If she’s healthy it doesn’t make sense based on the current state of evidence. One to two glasses a day is more healthful than one to two a week, there’s no question, because there’s also research that shows daily consumption is better than sporadic, than very sparse consumption during the course of a month, and that’s provided it’s obviously within the moderate, one to three drinks a day.
– Absolutely, and that is fascinating, we’re going to come to another slide that has that information on it, but I just want to say that if you’re just joining us live you’re here on the Sunday Sipper Club. I’m Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site at nataliemaclean.com, and I’m joined by Dr. Miller who is an obstetrician, a gynecologist, and he’s very up on the latest research of wine and health. And I want to ask you folks, if you are enjoying this conversation, please share it. Click on the Share button, add a comment, it really helps to get this discussion out to the wider community when you do that, and at the end of this discussion I’ll be drawing for the winner of last week’s contest, if you will. We always do a giveaway at the end of the show, so those who shared last week’s video, somebody is going to win a signed copy of Madeline Puckette’s Wine Foley book, and some gorgeous wine posters. Tonight if you share this video you will be eligible to wine a copy of Dr. Roger Corder’s book, The Wine Diet, which has an amazing amount of research. Dr. Miller was telling me he’s in touch with Dr. Corder, and it’s not just about a diet, it’s compiling all of the latest research on wine and health, it’s a fascinating read, and someone’s going to get a copy, so share this video, and share the love, and let’s get this out to more people, this discussion, which I think is important. Alright, so let us go to your slide, let’s see, I’ve got your mortality graph up here now Dr. Miller. So you wanted to talk about this, and it basically looks like a, not quite a hockey stick. You were just saying that it’s better for people, most people, or some people, I don’t know, most, some, whatever, to have at least one to two, or three glasses of wine a day than none at all, except for all these exceptions we mentioned earlier. I’m looking at this graph, and it starts at one, and then it dips down,
– It starts at zero.
– [Natalie] It starts at zero, okay right, in terms of the benefits and the mortality.
– [Edward] Yes, this is a, what we call a J-shaped curve, but it’s probably more accurately a hockey stick curve, and that is showing the all-cause mortality, or the death rate, as a function of how many alcoholic beverages people consume per day, and this is an amalgamation of pretty much all the studies out there, pretty consistently showing this type of thing. Whereas if you have one, or two, or three drinks a day you have a lower death rate than people who have no drinks per day, and then the line is crossing back above the rate of a non-drinker between three and four drinks, and then it really starts skyrocketing, going up with five to seven drinks a day, so just trying to make the point that it does need to be light to moderate drinking, and there’s no question that heavy drinking, and binge drinking, are deleterious to one’s health.
– Right, okay, and would you say there are, they have technically five glasses of wine in a bottle?
– Okay, regardless of alcoholic content, so that’s good to know, so it’s really interesting information here that one to three is better than nothing, for most people, unless they have some other pre-existing condition. Okay, so Floyd is asking, “Are there any benefits from organic wines?” Yes, I said we’d come back to that, Floyd. Dr. Miller, are there any additional health benefits to us as drinkers from organic wines?
– I’m not aware of any published research on that, I guess intuitively it makes sense if there aren’t insecticides on your grapes, and stuff like that, that that might be somewhat beneficial, but I don’t know that organic farming raises the procyanidin content.
– Right, yeah, and I would think the process of fermentation itself washes away, or not cleanses, but really does away with so much of those compounds, residues, or whatever, that would be my guess. Let’s not forget to taste some wine here. I’ve got a Cannonau, and you’ve got a Tannat, and folks, I have posted these on the website along with the background of Dr. Miller and so on, so I will post that again in Facebook but if you’re looking for these wines, they’re there. Which one do you know, you have a Tannat there Dr. Miller?
– I have two Tannats, I have a California Tannat from Sonoma.
– Do you have the bottle?
– I do, let’s see, it is Striker Tannat, Estate Alexander Valley.
– Okay, excellent.
– And I have one of my little gadgets you said.
– Oh yes, what is that?
– That’s an aerator.
– It looks like a beaker that you would see–
– More interesting than a Vinturi. This is a silent way to aerate wine whereas the Vinturi makes a slurping sound and puts bubbles, but I like the way it, when you turn it, or lower it down here, let me get this in front of the camera,
– It’s in the camera. Then it’s going to spread it all around the inside of this bulb here, and really it’s–
– Oh, how interesting, that’s great.
– I’m sorry, I’m hitting the glass.
– And it’s right on theme, it looks like it belongs in a science lab, looks like a beaker or something
– Right. And then you just turn it this way and you get it into the glass.
– Oh that’s great.
– I suppose the Vinturi’s easier, but you know,
– That’s more fun.
– You asked me what gadgets I like, yes.
– More pageantry too, so where did you get that?
– Interesting, I got it at one of the, not tip that over, I actually got it at one of the Arizona wineries here, yes there is a small wine country in Arizona, and this particular one does Italian varietals, and when they were over in Italy doing their various trips, they found this, brought it back, loved it, but it’s actually, as it turns out when they got back here, it’s called Gallicchio Glass, and it’s out of California, but they thought it was an Italian thing.
– It is cool, isn’t it Beverly, wow. “Can we win that with your book?” This is Dr. Corder’s book, but now they want your wine gadget.
– Yeah, it’s Gallicchio, G-A-L-L-I-C-C-H-I-O Glass.
– I’ll find the link.
– Out of California.
– Okay, we’ll post that link, that is a neat wine contraption. Alright, so you are an Advanced Level Sommelier from the International Wine and Spirits Guild.
– Wine and Spirits Guild.
– Okay, so you’ve got it all there, excellent, do you drink Tannat for pleasure, do you go toward these wines because they have health benefits, do you like them, the style of them?
– I do, I have cocktails, and I have white wine, and beer, it’s hard to beat a lot of Cabs, but when I can, yeah, I like to get Tannats, and the history of Tannat, in the U.S. anyway, is Tablas Creek in California were the first people to plant it, they brought it over from southwest France, the cuttings, and released the first vintage in 2002, and now it’s catching on in a lot of places. Shauna Rosenblum, who’s at Rock Wall Wines, has been making it for several years now, and I really liked her, she’s Kent Rosenblum’s daughter, and she’s now the winemaker. Rosenblum’s sold their winery and so now they’re Rock Wall, and she’s the winemaker, so that’s, and there’s a lot of places now, and I was even reading that British Columbia has a small acreage of Tannat. It’s getting around, but it’s generally a warm weather grape.
– Needs a lot of ripening. And Tannat, that refers to tannin, is that some?
– I was looking up the entomology of the word, and best guess that yeah, it has something to do with it being an extremely tannic wine, it was known about back in, it was first written about in France in 15 or 1600s, and it was tannic wine.
– Excellent, Alan says, “This fellow is excellent,” they’re loving this information.
– Well thank you.
– Dr. Miller, you’re getting all kinds of accolades here. Rick Dalderis says, “I love Tablas Creek Wines “from Paso Robles.” Lise, “What else does the doctor do in his spare time?” He and his wife, who is also a doctor, they travel to wine country, imagine, is that not the perfect pairing, I would say.
– We do, and we just got back from Africa and climbing Kilimanjaro.
– Yes, you just say it so off-hand, climbing Kilimanjaro.
– There’s no wine up there, so we came back.
– You had to go all that way to find out though first, right?
– Yeah, yeah.
– Oh, here’s a great question, I never thought of this, Dave Head is asking, “Does the doctor take Milk Thistle?”
– I do not, but it does bring me back to when you asked me about resveratrol, because there actually is some research out, while we’re waiting for the resveratrol research to come out there is a good research about grapeseed extract and reducing cardiovascular disease, poor circulation, things like that. The flip slide is grapeseed extract can sometimes cause people headaches if you take too much, probably like red wine, it’s probably tied into why too much red wine can cause a headache, because it’s dilating the blood vessels in the head, which is what a migraine headache is. But yeah, if you’re going to go with one food supplement and try and capture all this, I would go with grapeseed extract, and that’s where they extract, that’s what Professor Corder uses to extract the procyanidins from, is from grapeseed extract.
– Okay, grapeseed extract. But Mile Thistle, are you convinced, not convinced, don’t know, not sure?
– Don’t know. I don’t know, I need to be educated on that.
– Okay, yeah, I’d love to find out. I take it, I don’t know, I heard Jancis Robinson takes it, so I’ll do whatever she does, the queen of wine, I will do that.
– Two wine gurus taking it.
– Well I’m just following the herd here. Ah, here’s another great question, “The best wine in high altitudes?” Do you find that some of these wines with more health benefits come from high altitudes, now we’re talking southern France here, and warm climates for these polyphenols, but does high altitude wine offer any more benefit?
– There’s three things that make a high procyanidin wine; one, the grape, you want small berries, thick skins, and lots of seeds, and we’ve talked about some of those varietals. But the biggest thing, according to Dr. Corder’s research, is the winemaking technique, you have to let it have some extended maceration or extraction. After fermentation completes itself you need to still leave the skins and seeds in contact with the must, because as he’s shown, it takes the alcohol to extract the procyanidin. And then the other thing is the vineyard, what’s going on, and one of the biggest things you can do besides the usual, stress the vines, all the usual things where you’d have older vines, those things all increase it, but very significantly high altitude does also, and so when I think of high altitude I think of Argentinean Malbecs that are up at 4,450 feet elevation, and the reason is because they get more UV light, and UV light increases procyanidin content.
– Ah yes, Catena is very much into that, the whole light study with Dr. Catena. Laura, we had Laura Catena on here, Dr. Laura Catena, she was a past guest, but he’s very much, and she as well, into that UV spectrum. Dave Head, you’re correct, South Brook sells grape extract, that might be worth exploring. South Brook Winery is a winery here in Ontario, Dr. Miller, that is also very much, they’re organic, biodynamic, and they have a whole line of grape extract products as well, they were on Dragon’s Den for this product and it went well. Rob Janssen, I’m not sure if the book is in Dutch, that would be something to Google on amazon.com, Dr. Corder’s book. If you share this, by the way, you could win a copy of Dr. Roger Corder’s book The Red Wine Diet, which is more than just a diet book, it’s about all the latest research on wine and health. Lise is asking, “Apassimento wines, do they have “any particular benefit?” because they are drying the grape skins.
– I don’t know, and I’m just trying to think through the whole process, and I’m not sure that you have any extended maceration with those types of wines, which is where the extraction occurs.
– Okay, yeah, just the drying on the mats with the Amarone or wherever they do this. Yeah, it’d be interesting to know, gosh, there’s just so many avenues that I haven’t even thought of here. I’ve got Cannonau, Cannonau, am I pronouncing that correctly?
– I’m not very familiar with this wine, but I just tasted and posted a review on the site, so where does it stand in the pantheon of healthy wines?
– It stands up there well, when Dr. Corder was coming up with his laboratory research, the procyanidins, well actually it went like this, he thought, let me go where the longest lived wine drinkers are and see if there’s any common threads, and that’s how he came up with procyanidins and came back, but the place where he went was the mountainous Nora region of Sardinia, the big Italian island, and what he found is they have the highest proportion, or percentage of centenarians in all of Europe, and so he went up there to see what wine they were drinking, and they drink Cannonau, which is a Grenache clone.
– Oh, that’s why I like it so much.
– They are living a long time up there, and what’s really of interest is the majority of people in Sardinia live down by the coast, and they don’t have that longevity, and their wines are not high procyanidin.
– Huh, fascinating, wow, okay. Lise is asking me if I like this wine, you know what, I’m okay with this one, it’s from Uruguay, it’s a Tannat. Not my favorite, I would still recommend it, but it’s not one that jumps out at me Lise, but this one, the Cannonau, that is a beauty, loving this one. Rich, juicy, balanced, very Grenache-like, as you said, Dr. Miller. “Don’t drink more than a bottle a day.” Piotr, I don’t think that’s what we’re recommending for sure, Dr. Miller, one to three glasses would be good. Marie Johnson, “Would the health benefits of wine “be the same with wine kits,” so when you buy a wine kit and make wine, are you going to get the same health benefits? Hmm, not sure.
– You know, I’ve always been interested in making my own wine, but I figured it’d never be as good as what I can just go buy, and I think you either, when you’re making you’re own wine you have to go out and buy grapes, or buy the frozen concentrate, and I don’t know how that works, whether you have the option of doing a 21-day fermentation and extraction with a home winemaking kit, and that’s what I would think it would depend on.
– Right, that extraction. Lise is asking me about the dollars, this is less than 20, then the other was about 15, Lise. Alright, so one of the things I want to make sure we get to is the whole latest research about wine and breast cancer. Breast cancer is prevalent in my family, it is for a lot of women, and I just wondered what the latest research says.
– We’ve suspected a relationship between alcohol and breast cancer for quite a while, and then the big study came out in the British Medical Journal in 2015, that’s the one that said even a glass, an alcohol beverage a day increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer, so there was understandably a lot of concern going on. There were concerns about that study though, because this same group had previously reported that alcohol consumption, in the light to moderate range, adds years to people’s lives, reduces cardiovascular disease, and so one thing is they will look at the overall net, whether these few additional cases of breast cancer resulted in more deaths or longer lives, so in other words, maybe if women quit drinking altogether, more would actually die because of, by far and away the number one killer in the developed world is cardiovascular disease, killing one out of two people. The more legit and more interesting, I think, to your audience, is that people said, well go back and tell, one, they didn’t break it down by type of alcohol in the study at all, and so they said please go back and do that. And when they did, the post-publication supplemental data on this same study showed that when people drank three or more spirit beverages a day, the women had a 26% increase in their risk of breast cancer, and when they had same amount of beer there was a 34% increase in breast cancer, and when they had three wines or more a day there was no increased risk of breast cancer.
– [Natalie] Three wines or more, or three wines or less?
– [Edward] They reported one wine a day, two wines a day, and then greater than three wines a day, those were their cut points, and there was no increase in breast cancer in that same study. And just to put things in, I don’t want people panicking that 26 or 34% increased risk is the same as a 23 or 34% absolute risk, this means that a woman’s risk is going from roughly 12.5% lifetime to 14%, not that 1 out of 4 or one out of three women are going to get breast cancer if they drink spirits.
– [Natalie] They are even saying if you, I know there’s risk of other types of disease and mortality if you drink more than three glasses of wine a day, but just breast cancer alone, if you’re drinking three, or four, or five glasses, or whatever, that’s not going to increase your risk of breast cancer specifically?
– Correct, and there’s also more interesting, there’s studies like, I think I sent you the chart from the Annals of Internal Medicine study in 2000 which showed that even the last point they used in their data was greater than three beverages a day, but with alcohol and beer, by the time you got to that level of consumption, heart disease and cancer deaths were both increased compared to non-drinkers, but with wine it was still below, heart disease, cancer, and total deaths were still below that of a non-drinker at three or more, actually it was reported as greater than 21 drinks per week, so there is some evidence out there that wine has anti-cancer effects.
– Wow, that’s powerful. So Lise is clarifying, “To be clear, one to three “glasses of wine per day is only for the high Tannat,” sorry, yes, for the high, this particular polyphenol we are talking about, or all wine?
– All wine.
– All wine, okay.
– We get to keep this simple here, yeah, they just broke spirit versus beer versus wine drinkers in the post-supplemental data.
– Okay, so generally we’re talking all wine, red, white, all types,
– High polyphenol, low, whatever, okay good. But we know that certain types of red wine are even better because of that polyphenol. Piotr doesn’t want to compare wine to beer, “In Poland usual beer volume is more than four “per gathering.” Yes, well that could be a problem. Lori, “I like dry sparkling wine, I assume then “it’s not as beneficial as dry red wine.” Is that true?
– That would probably be true, yeah, because even though they use, well I’m not sure what, but for example champagne uses two red grapes, but they’re not extracted at all, and so with champagne you would imagine that it just has the benefits of alcohol in general and does not have the procyanidin, well it wouldn’t have significant procyanidin content.
– Absolutely, so in champagne, as we know, it’s Chardonnay a white grape, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meurnier, two red grapes, and by extracted of course, the grape juice while it’s fermenting is not extracting color from the skins because they’re separated to keep most champagnes white, light, except for your Roses of course, but that extraction is not happening to get those polyphenols. Cool, oh Peter, “I like this doctor,” good.
– That reminds me of that study where I had a lot of my friends emailing me, if you remember, about a year ago something came out and said if you drink a glass or two of champagne you don’t need to go to the gym. Do you remember hearing that?
– I don’t remember that, so what was with that, that study?
– You got to read a little deeper, and what they actually did there is use Pinot Noir extract on rats, and it affected their cholesterol levels like you would expect it to as far as the beneficial effects on atherosclerosis, but it is a huge leap because one, it wasn’t champagne, it was a dry powder that they’re dissolving and giving to rats, so you really need to look at some of these studies when they come out with things that sound too good to be true, they probably are, except what I’m talking about.
– Of course, of course. Before the show got started Dr. Miller, we were talking about the reason why, or part of the reason why we don’t hear about all of these health benefits all the time. America, the United States and Canada do have this post-prohibition hangover mentality, especially with government-sponsored research. I’m trying to paraphrase what we were talking about, but sometimes we don’t hear about all of these health benefits because the government doesn’t want those released for fear it will encourage people to start drinking immoderately.
– Yeah, absolutely, one of the questions you had asked me, or sent me before, is what’s the most important thing that would probably surprise people about alcohol or wine, and that is, and now I’ll get into why it gets suppressed, the largest study, and it’s still ongoing since 1948, as far as heart disease and the risk factors for it, are what’s called the Framingham Studies. They look at basically everybody in the town of Framingham, Massachusetts, and they’re now following the third generation, and it’s an ongoing study, and this is the study that in 1961 identified smoking as a risk factor and quantified how big, and obesity, and high blood pressure, and high cholesterol have subsequently come out of this study. Well in 1974 they had iron-clad evidence that not drinking alcohol was a risk factor for heart disease, and in fact, if you’re not a smoker, it’s the biggest factor you have, modifiable factor, for heart disease that you can have. And whenever they’ve tried to publish this in journals like the New England Journal, or any medical journal, the government says you will not put that out there, or we will withdraw your funding for this study. And the funding for the Framingham Study comes from the National Institutes of Health, and those studies are very expensive, I would guess $10 million a year to do that Framingham Study, so they’re told don’t put this in your papers, and meetings, and in other things where we learn, and so it’s hard to get the word out there, and that’s what motivates me to do the talks, and you were gracious enough to invite me on your show.
– Oh no, this is fantastic, and so just to reiterate in my own faulty layman’s words, if you don’t smoke, the number one thing you can do to lengthen your life, to improve your health, is to drink wine moderately?
– Yes, and the reverse of that, not drinking is a bigger risk factor for heart disease than obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and physical inactivity.
– Wow, wow.
– But it’s that sweet spot, one to three drinks a day.
– Right, exactly, wow, okay. Let’s see, Lise is on about Gamay, “Gamay is a great grape, “delicious in Ontario’s sparkling wine,” so Gamay, sorry Lise, I think that’s still in that category of light reds like Pinot, doesn’t have a lot of extraction, not a lot of tannins, so we’re not going to get a lot of that polyphenol, but the good news is, as Dr. Miller’s saying, when all these studies come out, the benefits accrue to one to three glasses of wine, any type of wine, so you can still drink your Gamay, or your Pinot. Floyd Curtis, “With wine being such a social beverage, “I wonder if there’s a link between wine drinking “promoting a lifestyle of interacting with others, “which leads to an increase in happiness quotient, “and therefore a healthier life.” I do think Floyd’s onto something, wine drinkers, I do, I’m biased, perhaps even snobby, but I think we have a demographic that exercises more, and all kinds of other things that go along with wine consumption, but what do you think about that?
– Yeah, unquestionably, and that’s well-known, as what’s in science terms called a confounder, that wine drinkers are different than drinkers of beer or spirits in that they are typically more physically active, thinner, eat a healthier diet, and so that’s always a possibility, but it’s been known about for a while. You can adjust for that statistically after the study with complex mathematics and things that even I don’t understand, but that’s known, it’s a confounder, and they’re always trying to factor that out so you are comparing apples to apples.
– Terrific, wow. Okay, Lori says, “That’s great news, “I don’t smoke and I love my red wine.” I’ll raise a glass to that. Okay so folks, just reminder as we’re coming into the last five minutes or so here, please share this video, if you do you could win a copy of Dr. Corder’s Red Wine Diet book, which is the latest about health and wine news, it’s really fascinating, many accolades, all you have to do is click on the Share button, make a comment, and at the end of this I’ll be announcing who won last week’s contest with Madeline Puckette’s Wine Foley book. Okay excellent. My goodness, alright, maybe we can touch on briefly, probably not doing it justice, but dementia, when it comes to wine is that all about expanding the blood vessels and flow of blood to the brain, and therefore slowing down the effects of dementia?
– That is the theory, and the research with dementia is alcohol in general causes, or not causes, what the studies have shown, and there’s over 143 studies from 19 different countries involving about a half million study subjects, that there’s about a 23% reduction in dementia, not once you have it, but reducing the risk of acquiring it, in people who have one to three alcoholic beverages per day. But there’s also no question, the research also shows five or more alcoholic beverages per day increases the risk of dementia.
– Ah okay, so it’s a fine line. And then I’ve got your summary slide here, with diabetes, your slide says 40 to 50% lower risk of diabetes with that one to three drinks, one to three glasses of wine?
– Absolutely, a consistent finding in virtually all studies, a person’s risk of acquiring Type II diabetes is reduced 40 to 50%, and that makes sense because one of alcohol’s other actions is to lower blood sugar.
– Ah, okay, but I thought alcohol converts into sugar to get metabolized by the system, is that wrong?
– Yes, it does not convert, it’s broken down by the enzyme we talked about into acid aldehyde, and calories, and carbon dioxide. It is not converted to sugar, it is considered a carbohydrate in the dietary world, so that’s probably what you’re thinking of, yeah.
– But it doesn’t, okay, good to know, and then the last one here–
– No, it lowers blood sugar and that’s one of the reason people get, when they’re having quite a night of drinking, that they suddenly want to go out and get tacos and pizza, and anything on hamburgers.
– The munchies.
– Yes, exactly, because they’re blood sugar’s being lowered.
– Okay, wow. And longevity, living five to six years longer on average than non-drinkers in that moderate zone of consumption.
– Another consistent finding, Harvard Public School of Public Health has, Dr. Rimm, Eric Rimm, R-I-M-M there, has said there is no question that heart disease, diabetes, and living longer is, no question that it’s light to moderate alcohol consumption results in those things.
– Wow, we’re coming back to that resounding, pretty much the title of your Facebook group page, the advice.
– Which I actually, I have to give credit to Curtis Ellis, Dr. Curtis Ellison is the cardiologist that actually interviewed Serge Renaud in that French Paradox, went over to France and interviewed him, and one of Dr. Ellison’s, Curtis Ellison’s summary slides at the end of his presentation was don’t drink too much, but don’t drink too little, it’s unhealthy.
– Wow, and if people Google that and/or your name and Facebook, they’re going to find you?
– Absolutely, good. Okay, so an absolutely terrific discussion, wow, we hit on so many key points, I could keep going for another hour. Dr. Miller, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d really like to cover right now, before we wrap up?
– No, just if there’s any questions, happy to take them.
– Awesome, well I’ll be staying online, and the comments are still pouring in and I’ve missed some of them, so if later tonight or tomorrow, if you can jump into the Facebook group, I’ll send you the link there Dr. Miller, because people have so many great comments here. Lots of praise for you, some questions we didn’t get to, that’d be great if you could address those. Alan Cameron says, “Many thanks to Dr. Miller “for his life-changing information, “and to you Natalie, “for your choice of guest.”
– Very welcome.
– Yes, absolutely.
– And you had that one person had written in ahead of time, I can give the quick answer that breastfeeding and drinking is fine in the same dosage range we’re talking about.
– So one to three glasses a day, and you’re breastfeeding? Should you be pumping? I’ve had a child and I nursed him, but that was 19 years ago, so would you just feed the child and then pump out the breast milk, or does it matter?
– No you don’t need to because the interesting thing about breast milk is the alcohol concentration, and it follows exactly the blood alcohol concentration, so you can actually not breastfeed and the alcohol is going to disappear from your breast, but even if you, they’ve done the mathematics, where if you drink three drinks in one hour, which would get your average woman to .08, or legally impaired, or drunk, and then they breastfed their infant, the infant would get the equivalent of an ounce-and-a-half of light beer in alcohol, which is really not going to have any physiologic affect. I think a nicer way to put it is La Leche League, who is probably the biggest pro-breastfeeding advocates in the world, say to tell women not to drink while they’re breastfeeding is needlessly restricting their activity, and therefore discouraging breastfeeding, which is very healthy for a baby.
– Right, and again, we point to the more important factor of breastfeeding versus not. Wow, okay, so Paul Hollander says, “Each week gets better.” Oh so great, so glad you enjoyed this Paul, “Thank you Dr. Miller.” Mary Johnson, “Another great guest tonight,” excellent, thank you Beverly, and Lou Michel, “Thank you Dr. Miller.” Wow, so many great comments, they just keep comin’ on.
– It’s been a pleasure, and an honor, and I appreciate the opportunity to help get the word out there.
– Absolutely, Dr. Miller, thank you so much, and we must pick this up again, perhaps in the new year we’ll have part two, the sequel.
– Okay, sounds good.
– Alright, well cheers, and take care, and good luck with all of your research, and studies, and your practice.
– Okay, thank you very much.
– Okay, bye bye. Alright folks, I’m going to stay here a little bit longer because I want to share with you the winner, but also, as I always ask every week, what was the most interesting thing you learned from our conversation tonight? Please post in the comments below. I’d be hard-pressed to even try to pick one, but even just a short thing, like you didn’t know the whatever, it doesn’t have to be a long bullet, but I would love to know what you thought was the most interesting thing about tonight. And again, please, please, please share this, get it out, this is a conversation people should know about. Click on Share, share it as you wish, put a comment, add a comment, that always encourages your peeps to come and see what this is all about when you were interested enough to share it. And if you click on Follow, you will always know when we’re going live, you’ll get a little notification, it’s unobtrusive, but if you forget, if you haven’t put us on the calendar, you’ll know every Sunday when we go live. I should say next week, next week we have a great guest, it’s Laura Werlin. She is a world authority on pairing cheese and wine, how timely is this just for the holidays? She’s written many books about pairing cheese and wine, and we are going to take the deep dive, because I think that’s the easiest way to entertain for the holidays, and what could be more natural than two fermented, natural products, wine, cheese, they share so many things in common, range of flavors, get better as they age, et cetera, et cetera. Yes Beverly, okay, up to three glasses of wine a day, yes, if you don’t have any of those pre-existing health conditions that we talked about. Always, always, always talk to your own doctor about your own personal situation, because this is just about information, getting it out there, and then you need to take that into context with your own personal life. Guys, I am so pleased that you always show up here, this is so great, so great. Madeline Foley, who was on last week, wasn’t she a dynamo? We are now going to announce the winner of Madeline Foley’s book. She is personally signing it, and there were two large, gorgeous wine posters about the color of wine, and I forget what the other one was about, but they’re beautifully illustrated. Some people hang them even in their living room, they’re so gorgeous. The winner, drum roll please, is Dave Head, Dave! Hope you’re still here, Dave, it’s okay if you’re not, oh, I think you are. Claire says, “The best comment is about breastfeeding.” Excellent, so Dave you are still here, Dave, we will connect after this, and I will get you in touch with Madeline to get her book and her posters, excellent. Beverly, Paul, the moderate, okay so you’re commenting on what was the most interesting point, Marie Johnson, good. Yes, me too, I like to hear this, and it’s no surprise to me that a lot of this research is suppressed. We still have that post-prohibition mentality, our alcohol is regulated by the government, and anyway. And Dave Head is now getting multi congratulations from everybody else, and Dave if you don’t want that poster feel free to pass it on to me. No way Lori, okay, we’ve got a little debate going on there. And of course Dave Head has the Sunday Sipper Support Group, there’s a Facebook group Dave Head started, which is pretty amazing, and I find very comforting. Okay guys, so join me next Sunday with Laura Werlin, wine and cheese, bring your wine, bring your cheese, ask her any question you want, we’re going to do some wild pairings, and get you ready for the holidays. Alright, so I am, you guys are still debating who’s getting the prize, it’s Dave Head, and Dave can do what he wants with it, Lori. Alright guys, I will see you next week, next Sunday at 6 p.m. Take care.