Is Drinking Wine Every Night Bad For You?

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

Drinking wine every night can lead to weight gain, decreased immune function, and mental health issues [1].  

Additionally, having more than a few drinks daily can affect liver health, resulting in liver damage or liver disease [2].

Consuming red wine in moderation decreases the risk of  these maladies, and has potential health benefits [3].

What Happens When You Drink Wine Every Night?

Improves Gut Health 

The health of the gut impacts digestion, mental health, and the state of the body's organs [4].

Moderate intake of red wine can benefit the gut.

Red wine contains polyphenols and antimicrobial properties that help balance out the gut’s natural microbiome [5]. A diverse microbiome is critical for treating and preventing different conditions, including autoimmune diseases, breast cancer and other cancers, obesity, and inflammatory bowel disease [6].

Fights Against Cardiovascular Diseases 

Moderate red wine intake offers some cardiovascular benefits, and can be good for overall heart health. The polyphenols found in red wine provide a vasorelaxing effect on the coronary microvessels. These natural chemicals help the red blood vessels and aid blood clot prevention and other cardiovascular conditions [7].

Red wine can also raise lipoprotein levels (HDL) or good cholesterol [8]. Higher HDL levels are correlated with better protection against cardiovascular disease [9].

Red wine is rich in tannins that contain compounds called procyanidins which help protect against heart disease. A nightly glass of red wine can help reduce high blood pressure [10].

Disrupts Sleeping Patterns 

Alcohol can affect the body's natural clock, which can lead to sleep difficulties [11].

Drinking higher quantities of alcohol can lead to short-term withdrawal, which can increase sympathetic activity and sleep disruption, particularly in the second half on the night [12].

Reduces The Risk Of Developing Depression 

Having a glass of red wine in moderation may have a positive effect on mental health and reduce the development of depression for some individuals [13].

However, heavy drinking can lead to a higher risk of depression [14].

Leads To Longer Life 

The resveratrol found in red wine, nuts, cranberries, blueberries, and grapes is linked to anti-ageing properties [15].

It activates the anti-ageing pathway that leads to a longer lifespan, and benefits overall health [16].

These benefits will depend on how much alcohol is being consumed.

Heavy drinkers are less likely to see these potential benefits [17]. 

Decreases Risk Of Diabetes 

Drinking a nightly glass of red wine helps manage and prevent diabetes. Moderate wine drinkers have a 30% less chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

One glass of red wine a night is safe for most diabetes patients.

However, excessive drinking or drinking an entire bottle is not advised.

According to the Annals of Internal Medicine study, a group of type 2 diabetes patients was asked to drink a glass of white wine, red wine, and water every night.

The participants were at low risk for alcohol abuse and followed a Mediterranean diet for two years.

The results found that the participants who drank a glass of wine every day had increased HDL cholesterol levels and better sleep quality than those who drank only water [18].

Lowers The Risk Of Developing Cancer 

Regular alcohol consumption can put someone at a higher risk of developing cancer [19].

However, red wine is one exception to the rule.

Moderate red wine consumption is linked to lower breast cancer rates [20].

The skin of the red grapes has chemicals that help increase testosterone levels and reduce estrogen levels in premenopausal and postmenopausal women, which can lower the risk factors of developing breast cancer [21].

Reduces Risk Of Blood Clot

Too many glasses of wine can lead to intoxication and the feeling of mental fogginess.

Having only one drink is ideal.

A nightly glass of wine can help protect the brain from developing a blood clot [22].

Those who drink wine in moderation and only consume one glass of wine or two drinks a day have a decreased risk of stroke [23].

Conversely, having four or more drinks a night can increase the risk of stroke compared to those who drink occasionally or not at all [24].

Besides blood clot prevention, red wine also promotes a lower risk for having dementia. Moderate drinkers have a lower risk of dementia than those who drink excessively as well as those who do not drink alcohol at all [25].

Health experts do not recommend that individuals begin drinking if they currently abstain from drinking alcohol.

However, if someone who drinks alcohol in excess changes their intake to moderate red wine consumption, it can be beneficial to their health [26].

Reduces Inflammation 

The resveratrol found in red wine helps prevent blood vessel damage and blood clots. In addition, it is helpful with lowering the risk of inflammation, which can lead to heart disease or heart attack [27].

Sharpens The Mind

Wine is rich in flavanols, which are compounds that help protect the body’s cells necessary for supporting blood vessels.

This physiological benefit improves the blood flow in the brain, as well as overall brain function. It also prevents developing harmful plaque [28].

Are There Potential Downsides To Drinking Wine Every Night?

Alcohol intake at excessive amounts can be harmful. Binge drinking or consuming large amounts of alcohol is associated with negative health results.

Heavy alcohol intake can lead to several health problems, such as pancreatic and liver diseases, heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and unintentional injuries. It can also lead to weight gain, decreased immune function, and mental health issues [29].

Drinking wine in moderation delivers health benefits, while heavy drinking can negatively impact one's health. It is recommended that certain individuals abstain from consuming alcohol or quit drinking entirely, including pregnant women, minors, and those on specific medications [30].

Drinking a bottle of wine or having more than a few drinks daily can affect liver health, resulting in liver damage or liver disease [31].

Which Type Of Wine Has the Most Health Benefits?

Most studies focus on red wine’s beneficial properties, while the health benefits of white wine require additional research.

Red wine is widely acknowledged for its high resveratrol concentration, and has ten times more resveratrol than white wine. [32].

Powerful Antioxidants 

Red wine has more resveratrol than white wine, which is a powerful compound that helps protect blood vessels and prevent blood clots. These compounds increase good cholesterol levels, and help regulate blood pressure [33].

Premature Ageing

Red wine has polyphenols, which are compounds that help fight premature ageing effects [34]. As a result, one or two drinks daily can promote a younger look while keeping toxins away [35]. 

Calorie Count 

White and red wine are comparable in terms of calories. A glass of white has approximately 121 calories, whereas a glass of red has around 130 calories. A standard bottle of wine contains around 650 calories, with a higher caloric amount found in sweet wine varieties [36].

Silicon Levels 

Red wine has higher silicon levels than white wine, meaning that drinking red wine can help increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis [37].

Overall, red wine offers more health benefits than white wine. Both types of wine contain alcohol, and high alcohol consumption can be a risk factor for increasing health issues [38].

Red wine should be consumed in moderation regardless of its health benefits.

Having a glass of wine every day can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

However, if consumed more than recommended, it can negatively impact both physical and mental health. It is important to understand the risks of drinking too much alcohol daily.

Last Updated: January 18, 2023

About the author

Peter Szczepanski

Peter has been on the GPhC register for 29 years. He holds a Clinical Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice and he is a Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Misuse for Abbeycare Gloucester and works as the Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Use in Worcestershire. Peter also co-authored the new 6th edition of Drugs In Use by Linda Dodds, writing Chapter 15 on Alcohol Related Liver Disease. Find Peter on Respiratory Academy, Aston University graduates, University of Birmingham, Q, Pharmaceutical Journal, the Dudley Pharmaceutical Committee, Dudley Council, Twitter, and LinkedIn.