Looking to lose weight? Try our FREE Calorie Counter »  |  Log In
Articles Fitness Nutrition

5 Negative Health Risks of Drinking Too Much Wine

Apr 16, 2010

It is a fairly well-known fact that drinking wine can be beneficial to your health in a number of ways, but there are also health risks to drinking more than the recommended two glasses of wine per day. As with any form of alcohol, too much wine can cause damage to your body in different ways. Here are a few of the more well documented ailments that are associated with drinking too much wine.

Obesity

Wine contains calories in varying proportions, depending on the type.  For example; a large glass of sweet white wine can contain up to 200 calories alone. Fortified wines contain even more, sometimes hitting up to 380 calories in the case of ginger wine. Along with the alcohol’s effect in lowering inhibitions, this means that prolonged consumption of wine over a period of time without appropriate exercise or eating habits can become a cause of obesity in adults.

Heart Disease

It is still a bone of contention amongst some scientists and dietitians, but it appears that drinking red wine in moderation can help defend against the onset of heart disease. However, the operative word here is ‘moderation’.  

Drinking wine in excess can have the opposite effect. Over time, the heart muscle can become weakened which leads to a condition known as cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle cannot pump the blood around your body as well as it should. This in turn can raise the risk of heart disease.

Stroke

Linked somewhat to the heart disease reason explained above; alcohol in excess is known to raise blood pressure in the body.  An elevated blood pressure can be dangerous in those who are already at risk from strokes and heart conditions, as well as the elderly.  Although it is also known that drinking two glasses of wine per day can actively reduce the risk of suffering a stroke, any more can have the opposite effect.

Pancreatitis

Drinking too much wine can also be the catalyst in the onset of acute or chronic pancreatitis. This can be a painful and nauseating condition and it is estimated that  alcohol causes around 70-80 percent of the cases diagnosed in the US. It has been seen to manifest itself after particularly heavy bouts of binge drinking. Research is still ongoing into how exactly it is linked to the consumption of too much wine, so it would be a sensible idea to moderate daily alcohol intake for health reasons.

Fertility

Excessive drinking can also have a detrimental effect on the human body--both male and female--when it comes to reproduction. In women, drinking too much wine can actively reduce fertility and has been linked to lower rates of conception. Even after becoming pregnant, too much wine can potentially cause birth defects and low birth weights in the babies. It can also increase the risk of suffering from a miscarriage.  

In men, erectile dysfunction, lowered testosterone levels and even poor motility of the sperm are all commonly documented side effects of drinking too much wine. Therefore, it has been suggested that couples who are trying to conceive should limit themselves to around two glasses of wine per week in order to increase their chances of becoming parents.

Article Comments