Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Should I Stop Drinking Red Wine?

Thursday, 30 August 2012 09:39 AM

Question: I’ve read that a glass of red wine each day is good for the heart. I am now told that something in my liver and kidneys is elevated, and I’ve been told to stop drinking wine. What do you say?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Listen to your consultant to be safe, at least until you find out more details. Be sure you understand why. If you doubt the advice given, you can always obtain alternate opinions.

Remember that wine, non-prescribed "vitamins," and supplements may interact with numerous medications, especially chemotherapy, by affecting their metabolism, excretion, accumulation, effect, and toxicity.

The cardiovascular data on red wine relates to population studies of large numbers of patients who consume low levels of red wine daily. (No more than two glasses.)

Variation in tolerance and side effects will vary from one individual to another, depending upon genetics, medications used, and co-existing medical conditions.

Some patients may not be able to tolerate regular wine consumption without adversely affecting their liver function or causing drug toxicity. This will be particularly important for patients on multiple supplements or medications that rely on liver metabolism for excretion, and for patients with pre-existing liver or renal dysfunction.

Drinking red wine to lower cardiovascular risk may only cause problems for people who have problems with alcohol overuse, those undergoing chemothereapy, have hepatitis, are on blood thinners, or those with multi-drug regimens that are infrequently supervised.

Thank you for this very important and common question. Remember, we need to balance a risk/benefit ratio in our favor whenever possible. I find many patients actually reverse the benefits of their prescripton medications by failing to consider appropriate dietary and supplement advice.

© HealthDay

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