Today, I am happy to be the bearer of good news. Two of life's simple pleasures may be beneficial for women's health: wine and sunlight.
A recent Spanish study found that 6.8 ounces of wine a day, be it red or white, increased women's HDL cholesterol, which is considered that good kind of cholesterol. In addition, markers of chronic inflammation, an indicator for heart disease, were significantly lower after a month of drinking the recommended "dose" of wine, the equivalent of a glass and a half of wine. Similar studies have been done on male populations, but this was the first to study women and wine consumption. The study also proves the merits of white wine too. When it comes to overall health, I would like to remind you that one glass a day is considered healthy here in the US.
Vitamin D, which our bodies produce from exposure to sunlight, is considered highly beneficial in the aging process. High levels of vitamin D help to lengthen strands of DNA known as telomeres. Telomere length is an indicator of biological age and is considered more accurate than chronological age. Longer length of telomere was associated with greater amounts of vitamin D, and lower levels of those same inflammatory indicators that wine decreased. This vitamin is difficult to find in food sources unless they have been fortified with it, like milk. In the age of skin cancer and ozone holes, sunshine has been rightly demonized, but it might be time to reevaluate our relationship with the sun.