8 Reasons to Pour Another Glass of Wine

No one needs a reason to have a glass of wine, but a little vino can do the body good.

A glass of wine a day can help keep the doctor away, at least according to piles of studies over the decades that have shown various health benefits to drinking wine in moderation. Take the latest study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Following a two-year trial led by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, red wine was shown to help diabetics manage their cholesterol. Both red and white wine also helped with blood sugar control, at least for those who were fast-alcohol metabolizers according to their genetic profiles. Wine offers a litany of other positive health effects, so pour yourself a glass, sit back and find out how a little vino does the body a lot of good.

Video: What Ancient Wine Tasted Like

Anyone looking to lose excess pounds should avoid alcohol as the excess calories could prevent overweight individuals from achieving a healthy size. Drinking red wine or grape juice in moderation, however, can help burn fat,

according to a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry

. Ellagic acid, a compound found in dark grapes, slows the growth of existing fat cells and the development of new ones, the researchers discovered. It also boosts the metabolism of fatty acids in the liver. Similarly,

another study

found that resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine, dark chocolate, peanuts and some berries, can help reduce the accumulation of triglycerides. While this doesn't suggest wine can help someone lose weight necessarily, it can be useful in helping to reduce body fat.

Exhaled Pounds: How Fat Leaves the Body

Alcohol is no friend to your liver. Years of excessive alcohol consumption can lead to fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis or liver cirrhosis. Moderate wine drinking, however, may not only be safe for the liver, but actually promote liver health, found a study published in 2008 in the journal Hepatology. Individuals who drank up to one glass of wine per day cut their risk of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) in half compared to those who didn't drink at all.

A First: Human Liver Created from Stem Cells

Red wine might stain your teeth temporarily, but it can also prevent dental problems,

according to a study published in 2013 in the journal Food Chemistry

. During and after meals, red wine can help eliminate bacteria that cause cavities, and it's not just the alcohol that helps protect teeth. Active compounds in red wine called proanthocyanidins, which are naturally occurring substances with antioxidant properties, prevent bacteria like

Streptococcus mutans

, which feed on sugars and demineralize tooth enamel, from sticking to teeth. A separate study also found that compounds in red wine can help regulate immune cell response to bacterial infection in gums.

Our Ancestors Had Much Better Teeth

Although alcohol is typically seen as something people turn to in order to forget their problems, red wine in moderation can help prevent age-related memory loss,

found a study published earlier this year

. Researchers at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine determined that resveratrol showed benefits in terms of learning and memory in rats. Neurogenesis, the growth and development of neurons, in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and mood, was approximately twice as high in rats given resveratrol versus those who didn't have the antioxidant added to their diets.

An On-Off Switch for Memory?

A glass of wine at the end of the day can help you relax, but research has shown that it could also fend off depression. A study published in the journal BMC Medicine in 2013 looked at over 5,500 light to moderate drinkers for up to seven years, following up on the mental health of participants through yearly check-ups, interviews and questionnaires. Those who reported drinking between two and seven glasses of wine a week had the lowest rates of depression. This finding even held true when other lifestyle factors, such as diet and marital status, were taken into account. In fact,

another line of research published in 2008

found that ending moderate drinking entirely led to depression and reduced neurogenesis.

Depressed? Your Phone Already Knows

Since the early 1990s, researchers have found that red wine can boost heart health and protect against cardiovascular disease. In fact, earlier this year,

a massive study

of nearly 15,000 men and women found that consuming up to seven drinks a week reduced risk of heart failure by 20 percent in men and 16 percent in women compared with those who didn't drink at all. Not all researchers agree, however, that red wine confers much, if any, benefit on cardiovascular health. One study released last year at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology found that red wine only prevented cardiovascular disease in those who already exercised.

Another published in The BMJ

found that individuals who had a specific gene that leads to lower alcohol consumption saw cardiovascular benefits simply because they were less inclined to drink excessively. The only point of consensus among these studies is that to have any benefit at all wine should be consumed in moderation. In fact,

one study released in 2008

found that while a single drink can benefit the heart and blood vessels, a second glass completely eliminates those positive effects.

A Broken Heart Could Actually Kill You

Since the early 1990s, researchers have found that red wine can boost heart health and protect against cardiovascular disease. In fact, earlier this year, <a href="http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/15/939" >a massive study</a> of nearly 15,000 men and women found that consuming up to seven drinks a week reduced risk of heart failure by 20 percent in men and 16 percent in women compared with those who didn't drink at all. Not all researchers agree, however, that red wine confers much, if any, benefit on cardiovascular health. One study released last year at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology found that red wine only prevented cardiovascular disease in those who already exercised. <a href="http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/content/42/20/12555" >Another published in The BMJ</a> found that individuals who had a specific gene that leads to lower alcohol consumption saw cardiovascular benefits simply because they were less inclined to drink excessively. The only point of consensus among these studies is that to have any benefit at all wine should be consumed in moderation. In fact, <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080212174615.htm" >one study released in 2008</a> found that while a single drink can benefit the heart and blood vessels, a second glass completely eliminates those positive effects. <a href="http://news.discovery.com/human/health/broken-heart-kill-you-120214.htm" >A Broken Heart Could Actually Kill You</a>