Moderate Consumption of Wine Offers Protection against Kidney Disease

First Posted: Apr 25, 2014 06:02 AM EDT

A new study offers a good reason to drink wine, stating when consumed in moderation, the beverage offers protection against chronic kidney disease.

The association between wine and health has always been a debateable topic among medical researchers. Most of the studies have focused on Resveratrol, a phytonutrient present in alcoholic beverage that offers a pack of health benefits. Too much of alcohol has the potential to harm your body, but researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, Aurora found that wine, when consumed in moderation protects, your kidney.

It is known that people who have kidney disease suffer an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but the researchers in this study found that moderate consumption of wine protects the heart of kidney disease patients.

"Those [with healthy kidneys] who drank less than one glass of wine a day had a 37 percent lower risk of having chronic kidney disease than those who drank no wine," study author Dr. Tapan Mehta, a renal fellow at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, in Aurora, was quoted in HealthDay. "Those with chronic kidney disease who drank less than one glass a day had a 29 percent lower risk of cardiovascular events [than those who drank no wine]."

The conclusion was based on the analysis of the data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination that included over 6,000 people.  Out of the total number of participants, nearly 1,000 of them were diagnosed with chronic disease.

Statistic according to the National Kidney Foundation reveals that nearly 26 million U.S. adults have chronic kidney disease and this is often caused by high blood pressure or diabetes. Studies conducted earlier found a strong correlation between moderate consumption of wine and heart benefits.

In this study, the researchers evaluated whether wine taken in moderation does help those with chronic kidney disease in lowering their risk of cardiovascular problems.

What remains undecided is whether the health benefit is offered by red or white wine as the respondents did not specify the wine the as well as the quantity consumed. But the researchers assume that red wine is better than white wine as their already known for being heart-protective.

Consumption of moderate amount of wine is linked to lower levels of protein in urine and in those with kidney disease, higher levels of protein in the urine was associated with an elevated risk of progression of their condition. The researcher explains that the polyphenols present in wine carry antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may protect the heart.

"The study suggests wine is protective against kidney disease and, in those with kidney disease, heart disease, but we cannot make any firm cause and effect conclusion," Mehta said. "While the study found an association, it was not designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship."

This study further supports previous study by Dr. Gary Curhan, a professor of medicine at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. This study highlighted an inverse association between moderate drinking and kidney problems.

The finding was presented at a National Kidney Foundation meeting in Las Vegas.

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