Mediterranean Way of Drinking and Longevity

Attilio Giacosa, Roberto Barale, Luigi Bavaresco, Milena Anna Faliva, Vincenzo Gerbi, Carlo La Vecchia, Eva Negri, Annalisa Opizzi, Simone Perna, Mario Pezzotti, Mariangela Rondanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relation between alcohol consumption and mortality is a J-shaped curve in most of the many studies published on this topic. The Copenhagen Prospective Population Studies demonstrated in the year 2000 that wine intake may have a beneficial effect on all cause mortality that is additive to that of alcohol. Wine contains various poliphenolic substances which may be beneficial for health and in particular flavonols (such as myricetin and quercetin), catechin and epicatechin, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, various phenolic acids and the stilbene resveratrol. In particular, resveratrol seems to play a positive effect on longevity because it increases the expression level of Sirt1, besides its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. Moderate wine drinking is part of the Mediterranean diet, together with abundant and variable plant foods, high consumption of cereals, olive oil as the main (added) fat and a low intake of (red) meat. This healthy diet pattern involves a “Mediterranean way of drinking,” that is a regular, moderate wine consumption mainly with food (up to two glasses a day for men and one glass for women). Moderate wine drinking increases longevity, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and does not appreciably influence the overall risk of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-640
Number of pages6
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 11 2016


  • Alcohol
  • longevity
  • Mediterranean diet
  • resveratrol
  • wine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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