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Please indulge me for an adjunct story about cholesterol and wine. It is not about wine per se or about dieting per se; but then again, it is!

Once in my mid to late fifties, my cholesterol was high for the times -- about 260. 

  

About twenty or more years ago, my buddy across the street John Anstett had introduced me to a home made red wine mix, which the Italians in NEPA labeled "Dago Red." I have my own code name for it which I use in emails:-- DGR. The vintners in NEPA make this wine mix in their cellars every year in August and it is ready to bottle in November / December. Most have it ready for Thanksgiving. It is very good and very healthy with no nitrites / nitrates or any other nasty preservatives. It is my favorite wine of all. Yes it is called "Dago Red" but those who use the term are casting no ethnic aspersions. It is what it is. There is a great article on this site about it. Just type in Dago Red in the search box.

My cholesterol at the time I became a DGR connoisseur was between 240 and 260. During the Spring physical the first year in which some might say that I was over-consuming DGR--though my weight was up a bit--my cholesterol had gone down to 202. My doctor was amazed. I figured it out pretty quickly. The wine had brought my cholesterol down from 260 to just about 200. This is very much like the major premise of the great Pritiken Diet espoused by Nathan Pritiken for years. He drank vinegar to lower his cholesterol and reduce artery plaque, while I learned that red wine did mostly the same thing.

My cholesterol is now under 190. For me, that is good.

According to an article published in "Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis" in 2010, the conclusion is that drinking one to two glasses of red wine per day may help lower your bad cholesterol while increasing your good cholesterol. Actually, I credit the red wine 100% for my changes as at the time, I had not changed my diet whatsoever.  

We all know that it is no secret what God can do, and it is no secret that high LDL cholesterol puts people at greater risk for cardiovascular disease. The excess sticks to the walls of your arteries forming plaque, which often cause those arteries to harden and narrow (atherosclerosis). You can see this in the great diagram above which is available on the Internet. Think about how something so hard as an egg shell can be produced within the body of a chicken or duck or turkey, and then ask what your hardened arteries might contain Can hardened arteries be somewhat like having eggshell material in your system? If a blood clot forms and blocks an artery, you know that you could suffer from a heart attack or stroke. The more clear your arteries the better for sure. 

 

Hardening of the Arteries

 

Emedicinehealth.com is the source for the below information in this paragraph about hardening of the arteries. This is the technical side of the opinion I just gave above. Since I am not a doctor, please verify this with your physician to be sure this works for you. Hardening of the arteries is technically called atherosclerosis. It is a disorder in which arteries (blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood from the heart to other parts of the body) become narrowed because fat, which in this case are cholesterol deposits called atherosclerosis), is first deposited on the inside walls of the arteries, then becomes hardened by fibrous tissue and calcification. This is called arteriosclerosis. As this plaque grows, it narrows the lumen of the artery, which is the space in the artery tubes. This then reduces both the oxygen and blood supply to the affected organ such as the heart, eyes, kidney, legs, gut, or the brain. The plaque may eventually severely block the artery, causing death of the tissue supplied by the artery. It is serious stuff and not to be taken lightly. End of ehealth information.

Research continues and the results are not always 100% the same. Over the past few years, the medical community has learned that it’s not cholesterol per se, that’s the culprit. Rather, the problem occurs when LDL cholesterol becomes oxidized, or inflamed. The grapes from which wine is made contain powerful antioxidant compounds known as polyphenols – specifically, anthocyanins, catechin and resveratrol – that possess antioxidation properties. When these guys enter the body, in most cases, they help the situation. Well, they help it lots if the wine is red, and not so much if the wine is white. Check out the white wine and red wine diets as well as the blush diets and grape juice diets on the menus if of this site or in various chapters of the book.

The fact is that I must say I am sorry to white wine lovers because you lose. Yet, I do have a white wine and blush wine diet that may work for you to help you lose weight. Again, check out the menus on this site. As many suspected, red wine is much more efficient than white in inhibiting cholesterol oxidation – 50 times more efficient to be more precise. That should not make those looking for cholesterol relief from white wine very happy, but it should not affect the power of any wine on losing weight in the prescribed diets. In other words, white wine lovers may not benefit health wise as red wine lovers do but, it sure seems they can be just as thin.

To get white wine drinkers more upset, according to a study which I observed, the authors concluded that “No 7-ketocholesterol was detected in 48 hours of oxidation for white wines at a 1:10 ratio and for red wines at a 1:500 ratio in the emulsion.” That, my friends is the heart of the fifty to one advantage that red has over white. Again, Sorry!

To say it differently, one portion of the red wine could significantly protect 500 portions of the emulsion having a cholesterol level equivalent to the normal human bloodstream from free radical oxidation stress for 48 hours, while one portion of the white wine only protected 10 portions. Whatever all of that means, for me, if I were a white wine lover, all other things being equal, it would mean that my cholesterol would have been reduced from 260 to perhaps just about 258. The good news is that if the consumer threw down as much white as I throw down red, and they were willing to throw down just 98% of that quantity in red wine, they too or you too or me too could receive the same results as I. The problem is that somebody might need to be stationed by the consumer at all times with a hand-truck from K-Mart to get them home on time.

So, what’s behind the disparity between red and white wines?

Yes, I feel good about all of that and I credit red wine. I do consume some white wine, but as we have learned it would work somewhat (2%) on cholesterol. Without even knowing the actual scientific proof, I had my own proof. Red wine definitely reduces cholesterol from my own experience. Since I did not drink white wine regularly during this period, I credit red wine.

Yet Nathan Pritiken achieved his original cholesterol reduction which took him from very unhealthy to functioning normally by drinking vinegar in many forms, not from wine. I listened to his tapes. Be careful, however, the Pritiken Diet people do not want you to blame them for acid reflux or any other reaction your body gives. For Pritiken, he says it worked for him.

One would suspect that white or red, or blush, wine would all prove to have great benefits to health. I have no facts to share yet about the propensity of all wines to behave like Pritiken's vinegar but it seems they do not. Of course, one might attribute Dr. Nathan Pritiken's longevity, if he were drinking white wine, to the spiritual lift it provides. The Pritiken Diet is one that deserves a look, and to an extent, on the health side, the wine diet uses its principles.

Since Dr. Pritiken used vinegar as his personal secret ingredient to regain lost health, I took the liberty to bring in some information about red wine vinegar. Pritiken from what I could glean, used apple cider vinegar. The following is from wondergressive.com

Red Wine Vinegar goes well with salads and is a staple of the Mediterranean cuisine. But did you know that it can also help you lose weight and curb your appetite? It even allows you to eat the high-carb foods that usually give you a feeling of regret after the last bite.

When red wine is fermented for a long period, it transforms into red wine vinegar. Besides containing the same antioxidant called resveratrol, the main component of red wine vinegar, and the one that gives it the sour taste, is acetic acid.

Acetic acid is also a main component of other vinegars like white vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Acetic acid helps to slow down the digestion of foods that you eat. This action helps to regulate blood sugar and prevent spikes. Blood sugar spikes are what make your pancreas secrete insulin, which tells your body to start to store fat.

According to Doctor Oz, two tablespoons of red wine vinegar will give you optimal results if you want to maintain steady blood glucose and insulin levels. The main reason why it does so is because it prevents some of the carbohydrates that you consume from passing through the blood stream. Carbohydrates are what raise your blood sugar level, insulin level, and ultimately bring your body to store more fat. It is the carbohydrates, not the fat that you eat, that is making you fat.

 

You can learn about how to lose weight on this site, and if you drink red wine, you can also lose bad cholesterol. Wine counts most if the wine you are drinking is colored red. The darker the blush, the better for your heart. White wine is 50 to one against your heart but it is certainly a better drink choice than mixing a hot-dog with mustard with clean water in a blender.   

The best!