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Red Wine May Reduce Your Risk of a Common Liver Disease

Modest consumption of red wine is commonly associated with cardiovascular health benefits. Researchers are now finding that it may also reduce the risk of disease in the liver.

Modest consumption - defined as one glass per day - has been found to cut the risk of the most common liver disease in the United States by 50 percent. This is good news for the 40 million adults currently suffering from the disease, known as Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).

The study was conducted by scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and appears in the June 2008 issue of the Journal Hepatology.

The researchers studied the nearly 12,000 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), originally conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The study sample included 7,211 nondrinkers and 945 modest wine drinkers. NAFLD was observed in 0.4% of modest wine drinkers as opposed to 3.2% in nondrinkers.

In contrast, research showed modest beer and liquor drinkers increased their risk of liver disease by 400%.

Red wine has also been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. The benefits are derived from polyphenols called resveratrol, compounds found under the skin of the red wine grape. The polyphenols have antioxidant characteristics, and may also help inhibit platelet formation that can lead to blood clotting.
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