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   Jun 19

The cardiologist who prescribes RED WINE: Doctor claims two glasses a day can halve the risk of a heart attack

Dr William McCrea, 58, even hands out glasses of wine on his ward rounds

He says he has prescribed wine to 10,000 patients over the last 10 years

He came up with the idea after discovering the French have fewer heart attacks than the British despite eating a fattier diet and smoking more

He claims drinking red wine can also reduce the risk of a stroke by 20%

Dr McCrea says screw top bottles of younger wines are most effective

It works because red wine dilates the arteries and raises good cholesterol

Despite endless rounds of studies and tests, it seems no one has quite figured out if red wine is good or bad for our health.

But one cardiologist made up his mind a long time ago – and has been doling out glasses of red to his patients for the past ten years.

Dr William McCrea is convinced that the drink helps prevent heart attacks and strokes and is often found wheeling a trolley of wine on his rounds.

Cardiologist Dr William McCrea prescribes red wine to his patients to prevent heart attacks and strokes

Dr McCrea says drinking two small glasses a day can reduce the risk of a heart attack by half

According to Dr McCrea, pictured, the antioxidants found in the seeds and skins used to make red wine can dramatically improve your health.

And the most beneficial wines won’t break the bank – as they can all be found on your supermarket shelves.

He recommends drinking cheap, new varieties made from grapes grown at higher altitudes.These are exposed to higher levels of UV radiation, giving them a greater concentration of antioxidants.

Among the cardiologist’s preferred varieties are a Pinot Noir or a Shiraz from South Africa, an Argentinian Malbec or his particular favourite, a Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile.

The consultant prescribes the drink to patients in the cardiology ward like he would any other medicine, with precise measures to be taken at regular intervals. He says their good results support the theory that drinking a small amount every day can be beneficial.

Dr McCrea began to hand out wine after discovering that the French suffer from far fewer heart attacks, despite their fatty diets and higher smoking rates.

He believes the antioxidant properties of red wine reduce the risk of second heart attacks by half – and the risk of stroke by 20 per cent.

The cardiologist has now recommended two 125ml glasses a day to around 10,000 patients at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wiltshire. And he insists that young wines in screw-top bottles – which are usually the cheapest – are the healthiest varieties.

Fortunately his local supermarkets usually stock enough of his recommended tipple, a Montes Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon which costs around £7 a bottle.

Dr McCrea, 58, explained: ‘The French consume twice the amount of fat we do, smoke more, and they don’t do any more exercise than us, but their rate of deaths from heart attacks is half of ours. What’s the difference? They drink red wine like we drink tea.

‘It’s their drinking behaviour that’s important. The British don’t drink alcohol regularly, but when we do, we drink to excess. They don’t, as a rule.

Dr McCrea, who works at Great Western Hospital, in Swindon (pictured), has given red wine to 10,000 patients over the last 10 years and says the results among his patients are notable

‘Also the wine cheers patients up and focuses them on their recovery by relaxing them during a very tense period. Hardly any of my patients who have a heart attack who go on to have red wine ever come back into the hospital again, which is unusual.

‘I’ve given it to 10,000 patients and the chances of a second heart attack have been reduced by around 50 per cent.’

The skins of certain red wine grapes, which are used in the fermenting process, are particularly rich in antioxidants.

One antioxidant called resveratrol is particularly good at mopping up chemicals responsible for causing blood clots, the primary cause of heart disease.

This prevents clots from developing inside the arteries, raising levels of good cholesterol and causing the arteries to dilate.

Dr McCrea recommends young red wines with the highest antioxidant concentrations, which tend to come from high altitudes. However white wine does not have the same benefit as the healthy chemicals found in the grape skins are discarded during its manufacture.

Speaking from his home in Swindon, he said: ‘Initially people tend to be a bit surprised by my approach. But I find that quite apart from the medicinal effects, the wine is a good distraction.

‘When somebody has a heart attack it’s a shock, people are alarmed and anxious so the red wine also helps to relax them and reduce stress.’

Source: Daily Mail

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