A frank comparison between the world of medicine and wine, an important opening to confirm that, as in all aspects of life, moderation makes the difference. And wine can be part of a healthy diet.

< >. With this phrase Vito Intini, president of ONAV Nazionale , opened the “In Vino Veritas” conference, organized in collaboration with the Medical Association of Milan.

The meeting, strongly supported by ONAV, has the aim of responding to the many attacks on the world of wine , in particular following Ireland's proposal to the European Commission to insert a health label on wine bottles to highlight the effects potentially harmful from its consumption.

<< The meeting was interesting and, thanks to high-level relationships, it allowed us to mutually learn new concepts .>> Says the President of the Milan Medical Association , Dr. Roberto Carlo Rossi .

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<< I would like ONAV to promote a constant dialogue between the world of medicine and wine , to overcome conflicts and better understand how these two worlds can be reconciled and work in synergy . – Said Vito Intini. – Today there has been a lot of talk about prevention through education and we as ONAV have already started a wine culture project through teaching in schools a few years ago. There is certainly still a lot to do, but we are certain that the path taken is the right one. >>

Many studies have concluded that, if taken in moderate quantities - 1 dose, corresponding to approximately 10 g/day of ethyl alcohol, for women and 2 for men - wine is not harmful to health. On the contrary, in some cases we can say that it can bring benefits, always in relation to the specific state of health of the individual subject.

<< I am amazed at how the negative effect of alcohol is talked about almost exclusively in relation to wine, while the many other alcoholic and super alcoholic products are not mentioned. Yet the alcohol in wine represents only 10% of the total, while there are many other elements that make it an extraordinary product. Just as in drugs we have the active ingredient and the excipient, which is only a vehicle, so in wine alcohol is the excipient while the active ingredient is made up of organic grapes, mineral salts, glycerol and polyphenols. >> Recalled Vincenzo Gerbi, president of the ONAV Scientific Committee and former professor of oenology at the University of Turin.

As always, however, moderation makes the difference. An approach that starts from the education of young people , as recalled by Dr. Alberto Martelli, pediatrician.

<< In many foreign countries there are targeted education programs involving young people for the prevention of road accidents, while in Italy these are absent. During the pandemic, alcohol consumption increased, especially for binge drinkers, demonstrating that it has a correlation with psychological and sociological aspects. The answer may be to introduce courses in schools , provided that children can be educated to understand the rules. Young people accept and want limits to be placed on them, as long as these do not become dogmatism and there is no arrogance behind the "I'm right because I know better" typical of adults. Focusing on listening to teenagers, on the mechanisms that push them to drink, and on communicating with them, doing it in a fun way, using their language, will be essential>>.

In this sense, a few years ago ONAV started a pilot project , now developed in many institutes, introducing lessons on culture, history and the many facets of wine in the 4th and 5th grades of high schools, an initiative much appreciated by students and teachers .

On the other hand, as highlighted by Dr. Marta Riva, hematologist : < accept everything in moderation without constraints or stress, just think that today even in many diets chocolate is not prohibited, an attitude that was unthinkable just a few years ago. Even in medicine everything that is imposed is not good: this was demonstrated by the experience of Covid, which required the vaccine to save lives and which even in that case found numerous opponents. >>

But what can be the potentially positive effects of moderate wine consumption? According to Dr. Riva, wine can have a preventive effect on arterial thrombosis and correct blood coagulation. In addition to the anti-inflammatory action of polyphenols, there can also be positive effects on the production of the corpuscular part of the blood by the bone marrow, with an increase in leukocytes, platelets and red blood cells, as highlighted by an interesting study on the Chinese wine Maoji Jiu.

At a cardiological level, as explained by Dr. Maurizio Losito , the flavonoids contained in wine can have a cardioprotective effect, especially in ischemic pathologies. Not only can they help reduce LDL (the so-called "bad cholesterol") and platelet aggregation, but they can act on endothelial dysfunction and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Quercetin and resveratrol in particular have antihypertensive, anti-thrombogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.

At the basis of everything, however, lies moderation and it is impossible to give absolute values of recommended wine intake doses , because each subject is variable due to genetic, socioeconomic and metabolic factors, as recalled by the hepatologist Dr. Chiara Becchetti , who has also explained how the liver is more affected by the negative effects of alcohol because it represents the "control unit" organ for the metabolism of ethanol. Certainly the most negative method of intake is binge drinking , i.e. the intake of 6 doses of alcohol in less than 2 hours. In moderate consumption, however, wine can also have positive effects on the liver in reducing fibrosis.

Alongside the effects on physical health , what about mental health? According to Professor Milena Lambri , member of the ONAV scientific committee and Professor of Oenology and Sensory Analysis at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, wine can also represent an extraordinary tool for better understanding one's senses. << Each of us senses a number of elements in wine that are proportional to our perception threshold, a factor that can however be trained. This ability is rewarding and allows you to perfect your self-knowledge. Furthermore, according to research from the Massachusetts General Hospital, wine has the ability to act positively on hypertension because it reduces stress as well as for its organic components. >>.

And if we consider the alcohol content of wine, which has increased in recent years also due to climate change, it must be understood that this is a challenge that the world of wine is managing with awareness, both in the cellar and in the vineyard.

The meeting ended with the desire on the part of ONAV and the Milan Medical Association to continue the dialogue