Toxic chemicals in Portuguese wine  .jpg

Toxic chemicals in Portuguese wine  

DRINKING ONE or two glasses of red wine a day is beneficial to the health, protecting against cancer and cardiovascular disease.

But according to researchers at Kingston University in the United Kingdom, these benefits could be negated by the presence of potentially toxic metals in red wine.

An article written by Declan Naughton and Andrea Petroczi in the Chemistry Central Journal mentions that seven toxic metals, including vanadium, magnesium, nickel, zinc, copper, chrome and lead, were found in various wines.

The scientists calculated the health risks associated with enjoying at least one glass of wine every day throughout a person’s life and concluded that while small quantities of metal ions from copper and iron were beneficial to health, the other metals were associated with ‘oxide stress’ which could cause cancer and premature aging.

According to the Target Hazard Quotient developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, there were no risks associated with metal levels of less than one point.

However, wines from Argentina, Portugal, Brazil and Italy had values significantly greater than one point.

In Portugal the risk calculated by the scientists comes from levels of vanadium from tin cans and bottles, and bentonite which is used in the wine industry.

However, António Curvelo Garcia, Coordinating Investigator at the National Viniculture Station at Dois Portos, has serious reservations that a glass or two of Portuguese wine will damage your health.

“I have already come across articles suggesting that only three wines nationwide bought in supermarkets had anywhere near dangerous levels so I don’t think this sample can be taken too seriously,” he said.

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