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Muscadine Wine: Is It Good for You?

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on October 16, 2020

Wine has been part of human’s diets for thousands of years, but muscadine wine is a more recent innovation. Muscadine wine is made with a specific type of grape that’s native to the Southeast U.S. The deep purple and bronze-toned grapes that make muscadine wine are native to North Carolina. The first known muscadine vine is 400 years old and is considered the oldest cultivated grapevine in the country. Today, muscadine wine is one of the most commonly produced types of wine in the Eastern U.S.

Muscadine grapes make both red and white wine. However, a study found that consumers prefer red muscadine wine to white.

Red wine has been in the news for its potential health benefits in recent years, with some people swearing that red wine is the key to good health. While science can support some of these claims, muscadine wine isn’t without its drawbacks.

Nutrition Information

One glass of red wine (about 5 ounces) contains:

Red wine is an excellent source of:

Muscadine wine is also a great source of resveratrol, which is a potent antioxidant. Muscadine grapes contain more of this compound than other types of grapes, and some of the highest antioxidant levels among all fruits, which means that muscadine wine is likely richer in this antioxidant than other types.

Antioxidants like resveratrol are linked to a reduction in free radicals in your body, which appears to reduce the risk of chronic heart disease and certain forms of cancer.

Potential Health Benefits of Muscadine Wine

Muscadine wine is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. However, the same aspects that make muscadine wine so potent can also create health complications for people with certain medical conditions.

Research has found several potential health benefits to drinking moderate amounts of muscadine wine:

Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Studies suggest that drinking red wine may help reduce your risk of heart disease. The antioxidants in wine, including resveratrol found in muscadine wine, appear to help significantly reduce the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other conditions that may lead to heart disease.

Reduces Inflammation

Antioxidants, like those found in muscadine wine, help reduce the number of free radicals in your body. These free radicals are linked to chronic inflammation and “oxidative stress,” or general stress on the cells of your body. Long-term oxidative stress is linked to chronic age-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and dementia. Drinking a glass of muscadine wine may help reduce your risk of many of these conditions.

Improved Digestive Health

Wine may also help improve your digestive health by improving your gut microbiome. Your intestinal system is full of bacteria that help you digest your food more effectively. Moderate red wine consumption seems to help feed "good” gut bacteria, improving digestion and reducing stomach problems.

Potential Risks of Muscadine Wine

Because muscadine wine is so potent, you should consult with your physician before drinking it in large amounts. As with most things, muscadine wine is best enjoyed in moderation. Consider the following before adding muscadine wine to your diet:

Potential for Addiction

Alcohol is an addictive substance, and muscadine wine is no exception. All alcohol consumption can carry the potential for dependency. Anyone with a family history of alcohol abuse should be careful when drinking muscadine wine regularly.

Increased Risk of Death

Alcohol dependence is associated with a higher risk of death from all causes, not just those related to alcohol consumption. Heavy d rinking for women means more than seven drinks in a week or more than three in a day, while for men it means more than 14 drinks in a week or more than four a day. People with alcohol use disorder can see their life expectancy shortened by as much as 28 years.

Increased Risk of Liver Disease

Drinking large amounts of alcohol can put you at risk for liver disease. Alcohol consumption is directly linked with deaths due to alcohol-induced liver disease. Drinking more than two servings of muscadine wine significantly increases your risk of developing fatty liver disease or cirrhosis.

Show Sources

SOURCES:

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica: “Mortality and life expectancy of people with alcohol use disorder in Denmark, Finland and Sweden.”

A History of Wine in American: “The South.”

Alcohol and Alcoholism: “WINE CONSUMPTION IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH A DECREASED RISK OF CIRRHOSIS IN HEAVY DRINKS.”

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences: “Resveratrol, in its natural combination in whole grape, for health promotion and disease management.”

Archives of General Psychiatry: “Is Alcoholism Hereditary? A Review and Critique.”

Current Medicinal Chemistry: “Impact of Red Wine Consumption on Cardiovascular Health."

Diseases: “Wine: An Aspiring Agent in Promoting Longevity and Preventing Chronic Diseases.”

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon: "Wine, red."

FoodData Central: “Wine, table, red.”

Frontiers in Public Health: “Age-Related Diseases and Clinical and Public Health Implications for the 85 Years Old and Over Population.”

Homegrown: “Meet the Muscadine: The Grape of the South.”

International Journal of Wine Business Research: Consumers’ willingness to pay for local muscadine wine.”

Molecules: “Contribution of Red Wine Consumption to Human Health Protection.”

Nutrition Journal: “Red wine consumption increases antioxidant status and decreases oxidative stress in the circulation of both young and old humans.”

World Journal of Hepatology: “Alcoholic liver disease.”

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