An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests. And for those who already have chronic kidney disease (CKD), which increases risk for cardiovascular problems, moderate wine drinking might help the heart. [s]HealthDay[/s] reports the researchers used data from the [b]US National Health and Nutrition Examination[/b] survey, conducted between 2003 and 2006. They analysed the amount of wine consumed by 5,852 participants and found that those who drank less than one glass of wine a day had a 37% lower risk of developing CKD compared to those who didn't drink wine at all. Those with CKD who drank less than one glass a day had a 29% lower risk of cardiovascular events than those who drank no wine. Dr Tapan Metha, of [b]University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Centre[/b], said that the study, to be presented at a National Kidney Foundation meeting this week, didn’t determine the exact mechanism as to how wine reduces chronic kidney disease risks. However, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of wine may have a ‘huge role to play’. Additionally, previous studies have stated that drinking in moderate amounts lowers the level of proteins in urine and researchers have found that high levels of proteins in urine increases the progression of kidney diseases.
While the study found an association, it was not designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship, reports [s]m.News24[/s]. The new findings are consistent with previous research, said Dr Gary Curhan of [b]Harvard School of Public Health[/b]. Curhan's team has found there may be an inverse association between moderate drinking and kidney problems. While the new study is a cross-sectional one, looking at a snapshot in time, Curhan’s research looked at how drinking affected kidney function over time.
Both Mehta and Curhan emphasised that moderate alcohol consumption is key. This contrasts with the views of [b]World Health Organisation[/b] alcohol expert Dr Kari Poikolainen, who has caused a media storm with claims in a new book that drinking an entire bottle of wine every day is not unhealthy. Poikolainen believes that drinking only becomes harmful if one consumes more than 13 units per day, reports [s]Medical Daily[/s]. He also has stated that it’s better to drink more than the recommended daily amount is better than being a teetotaller.
But Suzi Gage, a translational epidemiology PhD student at the [b]University of Bristol[/b], writing in [s]The Guardian[/s], says Poikolainen’s findings fly in the face of current alcohol guidance from governments and the vast majority of public health scientists. She says given there are already confusing messages presented to the public about what is a safe amount of alcohol to drink, claims about moderate alcohol use without any evidence to back them up are ‘incredibly unhelpful and potentially dangerous’.
[link url=http://www.webmd.com/news/20140423/a-little-wine-might-help-kidneys-stay-healthy]Full HealthDay report[/link]
[link url=http://m.news24.com/health24/Medical/Kidney-and-bladder/News/A-little-wine-might-contribute-to-kidney-health-20140424]Full m.News24 report[/link]
[link url=http://www.medicaldaily.com/bottle-wine-day-good-you-researchers-say-why-you-need-be-careful-about-claim-278702]Full Medical Daily report [/link]
[link url=http://www.theguardian.com/science/sifting-the-evidence/2014/apr/22/drinking-wine-health-evidence-alcohol-units]Full report in The Guardian[/link]