Friday, 09 November 2012 14:15

Who is Who Wine Research & Policy: Prof. Nicolai Worm

The nutritionist Nicolai Worm is member of the Scientific Committee of the Deutsche Weinakademie and chair of the Wine Information Council. Besides his many speaking engagements, he currently teaches nutrition at the University of Prevention and Health Management in Saarbrücken. He has written many books, among them the bestseller “Daily wine”, he is well-known from many TV and radio engagements where he often presents the latest scientific evidence on the health aspects of wine.

Prof. Dr. Nicolai Worm

WIC: What is your involvement in the Wine Information Council (WIC)?

NW:I am chairing the Wine Information Council (WIC) which is an information platform and one of the pillars of the Wine in Moderation Program. The latest scientific information on “Wine, health and social aspects” is collected in a central database and is accessible to everyone. These scientific results are further disseminated in a WIC newsletter which is published 4-6 times a year.

The WIC also consists of a network of independent scientific experts who provide their input and expertise on various topics.

What are the intentions of WIC?

The WIC is intended to provide wine professionals, consumers, media and everyone else interested in the topic with the same unbiased evidence-based information on “Wine, health and social aspects”. In practical terms this means that not only studies which deal with the benefits of moderate wine consumption but also those which cover the risks when excessively drinking alcoholic beverages can be found in the database.

What makes WIC a credible source of information (database as well as newsletter)?

WIC is credible because the publications in the database come from independent researchers worldwide and their study results are presented in a balanced and objective manner. To control the quality of the studies that go into the database, they are selected according to the ANZFA levels of evidence. This means that evidence-based medicine is being used to judge features of public-health nutrition. The Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) established levels of evidence for interpreting nutrition research, which seem appropriate for the WIC purposes to select the relevant scientific studies for the WIC database. For example, you’ll only find peer reviewed articles which have a higher evidence level than reports of expert committees.

What is, in your opinion, at the moment the “hot” issue/topic in the area of “wine, health and social aspects”?

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is rapidly becoming the most common chronic disease in the industrialized world and is most prevalent among the elderly. Diabetes is accompanied by a multitude of severe, long-term complications that ultimately cause more adult cases of blindness, renal failure and amputations.

In addition, people with T2DM have a twofold to fourfold increased risk of developing cardiovascular and peripheral vascular disease and stroke. The enormous human and financial costs that accompany T2DM, and the challenge of treating it effectively once it has developed, make prevention a top priority. Moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages seem to be a more easily modifiable lifestyle factor than weight loss and physical activity and consequently holds great promise.

 

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