(NaturalNews) After long getting bad press for its harmful effects, alcohol is now getting a second look. Recently, researchers have found that, in some cases, drinking alcohol can have real health benefits that are difficult to replicate in such a relaxing manner elsewhere. While health experts have, for years, been racking up evidence that alcohol is not good for the functioning of the kidneys, today they might have some good news for those people who like to have a glass of wine to relax in the evenings.
Alcohol and the kidneys
It has long been known by scientists that alcohol use can have a devastating effect on the kidneys. Studies have shown that drinking alcohol can increase blood pressure, raising it to high levels. High blood pressure has been deemed the second leading cause of kidney disease. Alcohol can also disrupt the effectiveness of medications that are designed to control high blood pressure, making it more likely that the kidneys will be damaged.
The proper balance of fluids within the kidneys can be disrupted, making the kidneys less able to filter bodily fluids. In addition, drinking alcohol tends to increase urination, which can lead to dehydration. This makes it more difficult for the kidneys to function correctly. Kidney cells can also become damaged, which could, in turn, change the function and structure of the kidneys themselves.
New data gives a different View
Researchers studied data that was collected between 2003 and 2006 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination. Of the almost 6,000 people whose data was studied, about 1,000 of them had kidney disease that was considered to be chronic. Research determined that those people who drank less than one glass of wine each day had a 29 percent lower risk of cardiovascular issues when compared to those people who drank no wine.
With 26 million Americans suffering from kidney disease, they are more at risk for cardiovascular problems. Many people have kidney disease as the result of high blood pressure and diabetes. While researchers do not quite understand why wine helps lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, there is speculation that it is because moderate drinking is associated with lower levels of protein in the urine. The increase in the progression of kidney disease has been linked to higher levels of protein in the urine.
The above findings, however, are not designed to encourage people to rush out and down copious amounts of wine as quickly as they can. As with many things in life, moderation in drinking alcohol is the best course of action. In fact, researchers are not sure if red or white wine is the best choice; though they suspect that it is red wine. This is due to the fact that red wine has previously been linked to a healthy heart.