Alcohol abuse is seriously harmful to health. If, on the other hand, moderate consumption of wine is taken into consideration, it is precisely the scientific medical literature that highlights its protective role, especially in combination with correct dietary styles. This is the premise of the conference ‘Mediterranean Drinking. The effects on health of a moderate consumption of wine’, organized on the initiative of the vice president of the Senate Gian Marco Centinaio at Palazzo Giustiani, and which saw the participation, among others, of the Minister of Agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida and the president of the Agriculture Commission of the Mirco Carlon Chamber. Among the novelties is the birth of the Institute for research on wine, food and health.
Italian and international experts discussed the results of the review ‘Moderate Wine Consumption and Health: A Narrative Review’, published in the international journal ‘Nutrients’ and which represents – according to what was highlighted during the conference – the most recent scientific work to summarize the state of the art on moderate wine consumption. A publication which highlights the differences between wine and other alcoholic beverages in the modulation of biochemical pathways and the gene expression of bioactive components and which confirms that wine, if consumed in moderation, not only does not increase the risk of chronic degenerative diseases, but is also associated with possible health benefits, especially when included in a Mediterranean diet pattern.
“This research – underlines Centinaio – has the merit of providing a clear and organic picture of the positive effects of wine on human health. In this way it will be able to influence the political debate and institutional decisions regarding health warnings and the promotion of food and wine products of quality. This solid scientific foothold will in fact allow us to more effectively protect wine and, with it, the entire Mediterranean diet in Europe and internationally, in the face of the attacks they continue to suffer from the Nordic countries and from the Brussels institutions themselves” .
Fruit of the commitment of a group of independent researchers belonging to various Italian academic institutions – formed by Silvana Hrelia and Marco Malaguti, Department of Human Nutrition of the University of Bologna; Laura di Renzo, Department of Biomedicine and Prevention of the Tor Vergata University of Rome; Luigi Bavaresco, Department of Sustainable Vegetable Production Sciences of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Piacenza; Elisabetta Bernardi, Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and the Environment of the University of Bari; Attilio Giacosa, Department of Gastroenterology and Clinical Nutrition of the Monza Polyclinic – the review had as its objective to re-evaluate, in the light of the most recent scientific evidence, the relationship that exists between the type and dose of alcoholic beverage consumed with respect to the reduction or increased risk of disease.
The recent controversies and the media debate following the lack of a position by the European Commission on the Irish law relating to health warnings on the label have made it clear that, even in Italy, it is necessary to have a scientific point of reference to carry out research and balanced information transparent on the subject of wine, nutrition and health.
The birth of the Institute for Research on Wine, Nutrition and Health was also announced on the occasion of the conference. The new institution – chaired by Luigi Tonino Marsella, Department of Biomedicine and Prevention of the University of Rome Tor Vergata – aims to promote and facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and information on issues concerning the Mediterranean diet and the moderate and conscious consumption of wine, in relation to a correct diet, to the health and well-being of the population, safeguarding and enhancing the culture of the territory. The institute will stimulate research, in-depth study, comparison and participation between academics, institutions, the sector and professionals in the health sector, to educate consumers in a transparent way and create culture on wine, food and health.
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