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  • Is Brandy Good For You? | Are There Any Benefits Of Drinking Brandy?

    Published on September 28, 2021
    Is Brandy Good For You? | Are There Any Benefits Of Drinking Brandy?

    Brandy, which comes from the Dutch word “Brandewijn” or “burnt wine,” is an alcoholic beverage made by distilling wine or other fermented fruit juice and aging it in oak barrels. This creates a liquor that has traditionally been consumed after dinner to improve digestion.

    As with any other alcoholic beverage, brandy can be abused leading to severe health risks and other harmful effects on a person’s body and mind

    But when consumed in moderation, brandy is believed to have a number of potentially beneficial health effects.

    Potential Health Benefits Of Brandy

    As long as women drink no more than one standard drink a day, and men no more than two standard drinks a day, brandy may have some beneficial health effects, including:

    Reduced Bodily Inflammation

    Polyphenols are a variety of micronutrients produced by plants, including flavonoids, tannic acid, and ellagic acid. Polyphenols are also known to help reduce inflammation in your arteries and blood vessels, and across the body in general. 

    Brandy is packed with them as well as a heavy dose of vitamin C. 

    Improved Heart Health

    While red wine is famous for heading off heart disease, brandy and other alcoholic drinks consumed in moderation are thought to have some benefit. 

    This is due to brandy’s anti-inflammatory properties and ethanol’s ability to expand blood vessels, both of which work to keep your cardiovascular system open and clear, lowering your blood pressure and taking some of the stress off your heart muscle. 

    Brandy also has high antioxidant potential, meaning that it can help neutralize free radicals that otherwise damage cells across the body. Moderate consumption also reduces triglyceride and fat levels in the blood, both of which otherwise increase your risk of developing heart disease.

    And, finally, drinking brandy is known to reduce LDL levels (bad cholesterol) and improve HDL levels (good cholesterol), potentially lowering your risk of stroke and heart attack.

    Anti-Aging Effects

    Brandy’s antioxidant compounds can potentially limit some of the most obvious signs of aging, including wrinkles, poor vision, cognitive issues and dementia, and more. 

    In fact, light to moderate alcohol consumption (including consumption of brandy) has been linked to increased longevity in men.

    Improved Immune System Function

    Drinking alcohol in moderation has been associated with fewer cases of the common cold, improved antibody response, and even improved vaccination outcomes. 

    Brandy has long been thought to have health benefits related to illness, as the drink possesses antibacterial properties, thins phlegm, has relaxing qualities that can curb an overactive cough, and can even provide some pain relief to help with a sore throat or muscle aches.

    So, if you’re dealing with a cold or some other minor respiratory issues, a hot toddy or shot of brandy might actually help.

    Doesn’t Interfere With Weight Loss Or Diabetes

    Unlike certain alcoholic drinks, brandy (neat) contains no carbs and is low in cholesterol, making it a potentially good choice for those with type 2 diabetes, though you should be careful of your blood sugar levels and hypoglycemia.

    Moreover, the ellagic acid in alcoholic beverages like brandy has been linked with improved weight control and decreased risk of developing obesity in some studies.

    Potential Risks Of Consuming Brandy

    Drinking chronically or in excess exposes you to severe side effects, health problems, and chronic conditions ranging from an increased risk of cancer to alcohol dependence, heart disease, impaired immune function, mood and behavioral changes, obesity, and more. 

    But even if you do drink strictly in moderation, the alcohol content in brandy may have certain unwanted effects, including:

    Sleep Problems

    As an after-dinner drink, brandy has long been used to help ease a person into a deep and restful sleep. But in reality, having even small amounts of alcohol in your brain can disrupt your sleep cycles and interfere with your ability to achieve and maintain deep sleep. 

    This may make your sleep less restful, even if you’re getting a full eight hours. 

    Pregnancy Concerns

    Alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix, as alcohol is known to cause developmental problems including fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. It can also increase the risk of misarrange or premature birth. 

    Dangerous Interactions

    When you drink brandy, remember that alcohol is a depressant drug and can adversely interact with common and uncommon medications like acetaminophen, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, sedatives, and opioid narcotics.

    Brandy & Alcohol Use Disorder

    Unfortunately, while brandy can be refreshing and beneficial in moderation, there are some whose use of alcohol may become compulsive and unmanaged. 

    If this sounds like something you or your loved one are facing now, professional help is available. Contact us today to learn more.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Encyclopedia Britannica - brandy | Description, History, & Facts
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Facts about moderate drinking
    Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Alcohol: Balancing Risks and Benefits
    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) - Drinking Levels Defined

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