Top 5 Health News Stories of 2023


While scientists have been researching the links between wine and health for decades, 2023 brought a flurry of new discoveries. Even as one study claimed that alcohol’s potential health benefits may have been overstated by past research, others linked moderate wine consumption to a range of health improvements, gave us a more nuanced understanding of how polyphenols behave in the body, and beyond. Breakthrough research also uncovered healthful properties of coffee and tea. Below, click on each headline to get the full stories, and sign up for our Wine & Healthy Living newsletter for the latest wine and health updates in 2024!

Researchers found that your cappuccino or tea might also lead to better health in the long term. (d3sign/Getty Images)

For many people, coffee and tea are among life’s greatest pleasures. It turns out that they may also promote heart health, reduce cognitive decline and extend life span. This study, from researchers at China’s Tianjin Medical University, analyzed data from nearly half a million people to determine if abstaining from coffee and tea, drinking one or the other, or drinking both beverages led to a longer life. What provides the greatest benefit?

Posted Feb. 15

 An illustration of people performing a range of activities while drinking wine or carrying wine bottles

Over several decades, many studies have established that moderate wine consumption can be part of a balanced, healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. (Nathan Hackett)

The cover story of our April 30, 2023, issue took a deep dive into wine and wellness. Read our profiles of top chefs, winemakers and sommeliers—including Eric Ripert, Carlo Mondavi and Sarah Gott—to get inspiration for achieving balance while enjoying great food and wine. Or, use our guide to top wellness destinations in California wine country to plan your next travel adventure. And don’t miss our in-depth report on the state of alcohol and health research, covering wine’s impact on your brain, heartweight and beyond. Dive in to the science!

Posted April 30

 Table set with a range of Mediterranean diet foods, including glasses of red wine

The Mediterranean diet can include fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, olive oil and red wine. (South_agency/Getty Images)

An overwhelming body of research has established the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, seafood, nuts, whole grains and olive oil, as well as moderate amounts of wine. The diet’s benefits are commonly thought to derive, in part, from its high levels of polyphenols, beneficial antioxidant molecules that may protect the body from aging, dangerous mutations and more. This Spanish study adds to our understanding of how our bodies metabolize the polyphenols found in foods and wine in the diet, and how those polyphenols could be working to help our bodies on a molecular level.

Posted April 24

 Two women drinking coffee while walking in a city

Researchers tracked San Francisco residents’ health data on days they drank coffee and days they abstained. (Westend61 / Getty Images)

Recent studies have linked coffee to longer life and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, among other potential health benefits. Yet for decades, conflicting research has suggested that coffee may actually lead to cardiovascular issues, particularly a type of dangerous irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation. This breakthrough study, led by researchers at the University of California San Francisco, provides strong evidence that coffee is likely safe for people worried about developing atrial fibrillation. What else does it mean for your daily cup of joe?

Posted May 2

 Four people drinking wine; two face the camera with glasses of red wine. The other two, in the blurred foreground, face away with glasses of white wine.

Adjusting for flaws in past studies, researchers found drinkers and nondrinkers have about the same lifespans. (Thomas Barwick)

For decades, researchers have tried to answer two seemingly simple questions: Is moderate alcohol consumption harmful? And does it provide any health benefits? A new study claims the answer to both questions is “No.” Crucially, however, it also found that moderate drinkers have approximately the same lifespan as people who don’t drink. What does the study mean for you?

Posted April 12

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