The medicinal benefits of whisky have long been touted by whisky enthusiasts, and it has been used historically as a remedy for all kinds of ailments. But there’s increasing evidence that a ‘wee dram’, in moderation, can actually have a positive impact on your health.
A study by the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen found that whisky, as well as red wine, raised the level of antioxidants in the body and helped to protect against coronary heart disease.
Whisky drinkers, when compared with the red wine drinkers in the study, were found to have absorbed a higher proportion of the ‘phenol’ chemicals which work to protect the heart.
The study examined 9 healthy men between the ages of 23 and 47, all of which were healthy and weren’t taking any additional supplements of vitamins.
The subjects were given a glass of red wine, a 12 year old malt whisky, or a newly distilled non-mature whisky, having fasted from 11pm the previous night.
The drinks were to be consumed within 5 minutes, and the participants returned the following week and were given a different drink each time for the duration of the study.
Those given the mature whisky or the red wine were shown to have had a temporary but significant boost in the level of phenol concentration in the body, while the new make whisky had a far less noticeable impact. A higher proportion of the phenol from the whisky was absorbed than from the red wine, despite the wine having a higher number of phenols to start with.
Being Scots, we’re as well positioned as anyone to give advice on a decent dram! Our current favourites are the Small Batch Reserve for Bowmore or any of the highland single malts from Glen Garioch.
For those not so keen on the ‘water of life’, the red wine given to the test subjects was Cape Bay Mellow Red. Generally speaking the darker the wine is the higher the antioxidant content will be, so look for a nice dark red when you’re shopping around.
Remember, moderation is key! Necking a bottle a day will do more harm than good, so stick with a moderate intake and enjoy the heart health benefits of whisky and wine.