Is Wine Healthy?

Can a few glasses help you live a longer life? A new review of nearly 400,000 people has bad news for those...

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Is wine healthy?

  • It’s a life-saver

  • Gym bag essential

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Is Wine Healthy?

We might lose some village members for this one, but remember not to shoot the messenger!

People have debated whether a few glasses of wine might benefit your health. Scientists recently studied more than 400,000 people to put the claims to the test.

Recent research suggests that red wine does not help protect your heart health. And more importantly, consistent alcohol consumption is linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and higher blood pressure.

As you would expect, the more you drink, the more your health risks increase. That’s because it appears alcohol can damage your DNA. When your body tries to metabolize alcohol, it converts to acetaldehyde, which is toxic to your cells. It also creates oxidative stress, which might cause heart issues. Another study of 36,000 people suggests that one drink per day can even shrink your brain size.

Does this mean that every drink is damaging? Not necessarily. The poison is always in the dose, and everyone’s tolerance differs. Lifestyle behaviors such as exercise, not smoking, and nutrition can potentially help reduce the impact of drinking. And even your genetics can influence how you respond. For example, a gene called dehydrogenase helps you metabolize alcohol, but some people (women in particular) tend to produce less, influencing how much damage it does.

If you want to be at the lowest risk, research suggests drinking no more than two to four drinks per week. Your risk increases from there, with most countries setting their drinking recommendations at no more than 8 to 10 drinks per week while avoiding more than four drinks on any given day.

It’s a Life-Saver

If you’ve been avoiding your doctor, a simple test could save you more than ten years of extra life.

New research suggests that early detection of diabetes could significantly prolong your life expectancy.

The scientists reviewed the data of more than 23 million people and found that those diagnosed in their 30s died 14 years earlier, those diagnosed in their 40s died 10 years earlier, and a diagnosis in their 50s led to 6 fewer years of life.

In other words, every decade of earlier diagnosis of diabetes was associated with about 3 to 4 years of lower life expectancy. Even crazier? It’s estimated that more than 7 million people have diabetes and don’t even know it.

To be safe, visit your doctor and perform a blood sugar test. Regular healthy blood sugar is anything under 100 mg/dL. You’ll be between 100-125 mg/dL if you are prediabetic. And diabetics tend to be above 125 mg/DL.

Here’s good news and why the test is valuable: if you’re pre-diabetic, you can still reverse the condition through diet and lifestyle changes. Research suggests that people who are prediabetic and lose 7 percent of their body weight can help prevent the disease. And even if you’re diabetic, similar changes can put the disease in remission.

In general, consider this your diabetes prevention checklist:

  • Exercise 150 minutes per week (any activity or movement counts!)

  • Eat protein and fiber at each meal

  • Do something that brings you joy (to fight stress)

  • Sleep for at least 7 hours per night

Gym Bag Essential

If you're looking to become a little better in the gym, it’s time to toss a timeless accessory in your gym bag.

Research suggests that lifting straps strengthens your deadlift, improves your form, and helps you recover faster.

The scientists examined how lifting straps influence movement velocity, grip strength, and perceived exertion (how tired you feel from your workout) during the deadlifts. The participants were divided into two groups: one group used lifting straps during their deadlift sets, while the other group performed the exercise without the straps.

The results revealed that lifting straps helped the participants complete their deadlifts with greater speed and efficiency. Not only that, but the use of straps also led to a remarkable 18 percent increase in grip strength compared to the group that didn't utilize them. This improved grip strength can significantly impact your ability to lift heavier weights, leading to increased muscle stimulation and growth.

But that's not all. The study also found that using lifting straps decreased perceived exertion during the deadlift exercise. Participants reported feeling less fatigue and strain in their hands and forearms when using the straps, allowing them to focus more on the target muscles and lift more weight. This can be especially helpful for individuals struggling with grip fatigue during their workouts and can improve overall performance.

While some people judge straps, the research suggests that they can make you stronger, help build muscle, and don’t completely sacrifice your grip strength. As a rule of thumb, work on deadlifts without straps until you get to your heaviest set or two. That way, you’ll build up your grip strength without straps and then maximize strength in your workout muscles with the straps during your final sets of any given exercise.

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell