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A glass of red wine close up against a wine bottle

From heart attacks to cancer to diabetes, proven studies about the health benefits of wine are some of the most happily-received pieces of health news out there. Now, a new study is suggesting that there’s yet another reason to, yet again, eagerly tout the health wonders of wine.

According to new research, that glass of wine may actually help promote kidney health.

Blacks & Kidney Health

According to the National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP), African Americans have a higher rate of kidney failure than any other group of people. Also, two of the conditions that continue to disproportionately affect blacks, diabetes and high blood pressure, can damage the kidneys over time and may even cause kidney failure.

How Can Wine Help?

“Those [with healthy kidneys] who drank less than one glass of wine a day had a 37 percent lower risk of having chronic kidney disease than those who drank no wine,” said study author Dr. Tapan Mehta, a renal fellow at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, in Aurora.

“Those with chronic kidney disease who drank less than one glass a day had a 29 percent lower risk of cardiovascular events [than those who drank no wine],” he added.

Exactly why wine might do that is not known for sure, Mehta said. Drinking moderate amounts is linked with lower levels of protein in the urine. In those who have kidney disease, higher protein levels in the urine are linked with an increased risk of progression of kidney disease.

While the study suggests wine is protective against kidney disease and, in those with kidney disease, heart disease, ”we cannot make any firm cause and effect conclusion,” Mehta said. While the study found an association, it was not designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

According to experts, these new findings are consistent with previous research.

Red Or White?

The benefits of red wine tend to be more regularly discussed, as opposed to its white counterpart. However, Mehta couldn’t say from the study if red wine is better than white, as those who responded did not say which type they drank, just if they drank wine and how much they drank.

He suspects, however, that red would most likely be better, as it has been linked previously to being heart-protective.

Mehta emphasized that moderate alcohol consumption is key.

Other Kidney Health Tips

According to the NIH, there are seven additional steps you can take every day to help maintain the health of your kidneys:

  • Get your blood pressure checked at least once a year and follow the advice of your doctor to keep that number healthy
  • If you have diabetes, control your blood glucose level
  • Maintain a health cholesterol level
  • Aim for less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day
  • Eat heart-healthy foods
  • Exercise regularly
  • If you smoke, quit

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