Devotional - Health topics

Does Wine Protect the Heart?

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. Prov. 23:31-33, NIV.

Have you heard that a little wine is supposedly good for your health? The idea all started with a number of studies that seemed to link the drinking of wine to some health benefits. But was wine really good for the heart, as the studies seemed to indicate? How could it be? After all, wine is one of the biggest culprits in alcoholism.

Well, of course as soon as the alcohol industry got wind of the findings that suggested a health benefit to the drinking of wine, they pumped it up for all it was worth and used it to promote their product.

For a number of years health researchers questioned the finding that wine was good for the heart. Now they know why. It's not the wine, it's the grape juice—or better yet, it's the purple Concord grape that offers heart protection.

According to the University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, unfermented grape juice is the drink of choice, because from it you get heart protection and none of the unhealthful side effects caused by fermentation, such as liver damage or decreased brain function.

Consequently, you can no longer use the excuse that "it's good for my heart" to condone your drinking habit. If you do, you're asking for trouble. A little wine too easily leads to the use of a little more, and before you know it, you're craving something stronger. And the result? Not only physical health problems, but social and family problems as well.

Then what about the Bible text, 1 Timothy 5:23, that says that a little wine is good for the stomach? It doesn't take much effort to realize that the apostle Paul is not endorsing alcoholic beverages, since just a couple chapters before, in 1 Timothy 3:3, 8, he clearly states that godly persons should not be "given to wine." Most likely he was referring to unfermented grape juice being good for the stomach. And that's exactly what the latest research has confirmed.

So enjoy your grape juice; it's good for your heart—and your stomach, too—but beware of the fermented drink that "bites like a snake and poisons like a viper."

Beware of sin that "bites like a snake and poisons like a viper."

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.